Four false myths of innovation and creativity

Four false myths of creativity from The Innovation Architect blog:

  1. Creativity should be fun – brainstorming and coloured post-it notes are preferred to the hard work of challenging existing practices and solving recurrent problems. As a boss, are you prepared to be told that “you have been doing it wrong”?
  2. All ideas are good; all good ideas are self evident – I have heard my bosses at various moments in my career state “all ideas are good ideas”.  This is not true.  Some ideas are really bad ideas.  Some ideas are breathtakingly stupid. Truly original ideas are often not self-evidently “good”. If you have been part of the existing system for long enough, you will be blind to some great ideas that break long-held assumptions about the way the world should work. Music and book publishing companies will not be capable of seeing new ways of delivering music or book content to listeners and readers that challenge their core assumptions of how the world should work.
  3. Innovation is entrepreneurship – many of the most innovative people haven’t got an entrepreneurial bone in their body – they can be quite impervious to the commercial aspects of their new solutions. 
  4. The creative imperative – This is the final and overarching myth – that you and your company need to pursue it in the first place.  Innovation has a cost.  It needs time, money and attention if it is really to become part of the company DNA.  If you are not willing to commit the resources then perhaps your best innovation strategy is to not innovate at all.
The Innovation Architect blog is written by Professor Paddy Miller and collaborators Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Azra Brankovic from IESE Business School.

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