Does following established patterns increase or decrease creativity?
From the article "Ask any creative director of any advertising agency and he will tell you that creative ideation is a highly complex thinking process — difficult to institutionalize and control. Or…maybe not."
"An experiment conducted by an Israeli research team in 1999 shows that even in a complex thinking process certain patterns of creativity emerge. The team assembled a group of 200 award-winning, highly regarded ads, and after studying them, decided that 89% could be classified by just six templates. (Just like the “seven basic plots” that all stories follow.)"
"What makes your MVP special is the ability to solve ill-structured problems. These are the problems which have something unique about them, whether it’s designing a new solution strategy, or envisioning a new skyscraper."
Solving "ill-structured" problems is "based on three kinds of knowledge: how things work, problem solving strategies, and context knowledge."
Intrapreneur = An entrepreneur in a large organization
"An intrapreneur is someone who has an entrepreneurial streak in his or her DNA, but chooses to align his or her talents with a large organization in place of creating his or her own."
"Smart organizations will seek out individuals who like to invent, innovate and want to be on the front lines of change. These individuals can work independently but even more important can work seamlessly as part of an integrated team structure and also effectively embrace and embody the culture of the intrapreneur’s host organization."
This article is by David Armano, executive VP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman, Forbes.
Whether you like it or not, competition today is fierce. And it’s only going to get fiercer. Where the old battleground was price and efficiency, the new one will be innovation and time to market.
Katherine Stevens: I like this quote: "You have to create alongside your customers, because you can’t rely on a robust outcome of your in-house innovation process"
"...you invite your community into the innovation process. You listen, observe, engage, discuss, and ultimately create together. ... You suddenly have a deep talent pool and you get significantly more initial approaches."
Continuum uses an innovation process approach - deliberative discourse - that they fondly call “Argue. Discuss. Argue. Discuss.”
From the article: "It refers to participative and collaborative (but not critique-free) communication. Multiple positions and views are expressed with a shared understanding that everyone is focused on a common goal. There is no hierarchy. It’s not debate because there are no opposing sides trying to “win.” Rather, it’s about working together to solve a problem and create new ideas."
What are the rules? (1) No hierarchy. (2) Say "No, because". (3) Diverse perspectives. (4) Focus on a common goal. (5) Keep it fun.
Diversity is the crucial element for group creativity. Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view.
"How to get started? Take a stubborn challenge you're currently facing and set up an informal meeting with a harsh critic, someone who often disagrees with your point of view. Critics challenge assumptions and are usually very passionate. Invite them in; hear them out. You may be surprised by how much you learn, and also by how thinking about a problem from a different perspective can refresh and energize your own ideas."
"People are more likely to take favorable risks if they think in a foreign language"
"'We know from previous research that because people are naturally loss averse, they often forgo attractive opportunities,' said University of Chicago psychologist Boaz Keysar, a leading expert on communication. 'Our new findings demonstrate that such aversion to losses is much reduced when people make decisions in their non-native language.'"
Stuart Firestein, author of ‘Ignorance,’ insists in an interview with Casey Schwartz that being certain is highly overrated.
Katherine Stevens: I like his attitude about admitting that we don't know everything and looking for opportunities to learn that you or your profession were wrong.
From the article: "....contrary to popular view, scientists don’t really care that much about facts. ... Whatever fact you seemed to have uncovered is likely to be revised by the next generation. That’s the difference between science and many other endeavors. Science revels in revision. For science, revision is a victory. ... the joy of science is that it’s about revision."
This article offers suggestions on how organizations can foster “idea fusers," people who can fuse ideas from very different domains.
"Innovation in organizations requires 'slack resources', like 3M’s and Google’s policies of allowing their people to spend a certain percentage of their time on projects of their own choice."
"The people need to be horizontal thinkers, but they also need to be vertical thinkers. IDEO prizes what they call 'T-shaped' thinkers; thinkers that have bone-deep know-how in a particular area and yet have broad, know-what in many areas."
Everyone is born creative, kids are so creative, and human beings made the civilization and modern technology with this gift.
"Creativity and innovation can (should) happen in every environment. People are often too occupied with their everyday-work, that they don’t have the time to think of something else. ... So, what’s blocking creativity? In most cases it’s the knowledge and time."
Talking with your hands can trigger mental images that help solve complex problems relating to spatial visualization, an important skill for both students and professionals, according to new research. (Hmmm. Does this mean Italians have the upper hand in problem-solving?)
"The next wave of gamification is not about games. It is about understanding business processes. In essence, gamification, applied to the enterprise, is an improved and flexible form of business process management (BPM), one that offers a new way to understand and optimize business processes."
Game mechanics can be used as tools for answering questions such as:
"Who are our top performers? What do they do to achieve success? What activities lead prospects to buy more? What activities lead partners to sell more? How can high performance techniques be widely adopted?"
"[T]he brands that will have the greatest impact on all our lives are those that see themselves not as citadels that need defending but as causes that need joining. The most important, most effective, most impactful brands are those that have put petty competition behind them and embraced collaboration as an operating principle--it is their core DNA. These brands are clear about their ambitions and are not shy about seeking out others who share those ambitions.
Fast, clear feedback is crucial to gauging probabilities; for lessons, consult weather forecasters and professional gamblers.
"Most of us have to estimate probabilities every day. Whether as a trader betting on the price of a stock, a lawyer gauging a witness's reliability or a doctor pondering the accuracy of a diagnosis, we spend much of our time—consciously or not—guessing about the future based on incomplete information. Unfortunately, decades of research indicate that humans are not very good at this."
Advice from the article on how to you improve your skills at estimating risks: (1) Assign numerical quanitites, like weather forecasters saying there is a 60% chance of rain. (2) Track your performance. Was your guess right or wrong? (3) Then use the feedback to improve your estimating skills.
"When frontline service workers are asked to become creative innovators, not just service providers, it ennobles their jobs."
"We normally associate innovation with R&D, product and service development, and new 'offers' to relevant markets. You might call this 'supply-side innovation.'"
"We don't spend nearly as much time asking how a company — in particular, a consumer-facing company — can engage in 'demand-side innovation.' That's not innovation focused on what a company sells, but on how it sells it. What's the nature of the interaction between customers and brands? How could such interactions become more compelling over time?"
"Here’s the gist: The degree to which a company can utilize habit-forming technologies will increasingly decide which products and services succeed or fail."
"Instead of relying on expensive marketing or worrying about differentiation, habit-forming companies get users to 'self trigger' by attaching their services to the users’ daily routines and emotions. A cemented habit is when users subconsciously think, 'I’m bored,' and instantly Facebook comes to mind. They think, 'I wonder what’s going on in the world?' and before rationale thought occurs, Twitter is the answer. The first-to-mind solution wins."
"But how do companies create the internal triggers needed to form habits? The answer: they manufacture desire. ... startups manufacture desire by guiding users through a series of experiences designed to create habits. I call these experiences 'desire engines,' and the more often users run through them, the more likely they are to self-trigger."
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