Co-creation works best when you build a strong community. People share ideas, build on each others' work, critique, praise, and compete. It takes more than financial rewards to keep smart, creative people engaged. They need praise, credit for ideas, and to see the difference that they're making.
Most innovators I know never started off as such. Few remember ever saying to themselves “I want to innovate”. They’re what I’d call “reluctant innovators” – people who found themselves in the midst of a problem they felt compelled to solve. Frontline healthcare workers who see a medial problem with no solution and come up with one, or a farmer who loses a crop but finds an answer and implements and shares it. The majority of people in the developing world finding everyday solutions to everyday problems are reluctant innovators. They didn’t ask to be, they became. Real world experience was their education, not an MBA.
I once found a little excerpt from Balzac. He speaks about a young writer who stole some of his prose. The thing that almost made me weep, he said, “I was so happy when this young person took from me.” Because that’s what we want. We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice.
And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you. And Balzac said that in his book: It makes me so happy because it makes me immortal because I know that 200 years from now there will be people doing things that somehow I am part of. So the answer to your question is: Don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate to borrow or to take or do something like someone you admire because that’s only the first step and you have to take the first step.
" My research has shown that people are most creative when they are on a mission, intrinsically motivated by a love for what they are doing. Bauer and his colleagues found immense interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge in "dreaming, proving and making things that had never been done before." Indulging their passion was so exciting, and so much fun, that they worked their tails off. These days, people are more likely to find work frustrating than fun.
It’s about having a high enough goal and then hiring the right kind of people: creative folks up for a challenge, ready for ideas to come from anywhere, questioning the status quo. (Designers, hybrid thinkers, T-shaped people, ambidextrous brains -– whatever you prefer to call them.) As Handy admitted at the end of his talk, the greatest threat to Method’s successful run “might well be the next 100 people we hire.”
TED Talks After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone, but Derek Sivers says it's better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them.
He touches on the obvious problem of its very intangibility making it a tough concept for business to grasp, but goes on to explain how he thinks its been wrongly pigeon-holed in the "innovation" space, which implies breakthrough thinking.
Using Elvis as an example, he shows how he wasn't especially original, but there was something about his "presence" that made him interesting.
Watching a musician in the throes of an improvisational solo can be like witnessing an act of divine intervention. But embedded memories and conspiring brain regions, scientists now believe, are the true source of ad-hoc creativity.
While there is no single approach to unlocking creative thinking, it is more likely to happen in environments where personal constraints are minimized and employees are empowered to voice any wild idea they might have. Design firms have been doing this almost unintentionally for decades, and now the business world is waking up to the merits of free‚ creative cultures. Innovation only emulsifies when individual voices are empowered by open policies.
These are just some of the costs you incur when not getting enough sleep. None of them are desirable. Yet somehow it seems that the tech industry has developed a masochistic sense of honor about sleep deprivation. At times it sounds like bragging rights. People trying to top each other. For what? To seem so important, so in need, so desired that humanity requires you to sacrifice? Chances are you’re not that special, not that needed, and the job at hand not that urgent.
That world will be ruled by the kinds of companies on this list. They're nondogmatic, willing to scrap conventional ideas... This is a list full of surprises, even though our No. 1 pick is no surprise at all. Apple itself was once written off; but the company restored innovation to its proper place, and as you'll see when you open the gatefold to the right, our entire economy has benefited as a result.
Even companies serious about innovation can fall victim to their own, well-meaning creative process. In most companies, there's a profound tension between the right-brainers (for lack of a better term) espousing design, design thinking and user-centered approaches to innovation and the left-brained, more spreadsheet-minded among us. Most C-suites are dominated by the latter, all of whom are big fans of nice neat processes and who pay good money to get them implemented rigorously. So often, the innovation process is treated as a simple, neat little machine. Put in a little cash and install the right process, and six months later, out pops your new game-changing innovation -- just like toast, right from the toaster. But that, of course, is wrong
A recent BusinessWeek article reported that, “According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM's Institute for Business Value, CEOs identify ‘creativity’ as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.” While the study’s results will come as no surprise to hard-working creative professionals, they do raise an important question: How do we identify – and hire for – the qualities that add up to creativity?
"Too often, we fail to consider the ways in which our surroundings constrain our creativity. When we are always “close” to the problems of work, when we never silence our phones or stop responding to e-mail, we get trapped into certain mental habits. We assume that there is no other way to think about things, that this is how it must always be done. It’s not until we’re napping by the pool with a pina colada in hand — when work seems a million miles away — that we suddenly find the answer we’ve needed all along."
The point is that great startups need great ideas and great execution. Of course you can’t just have an idea. You have to do something with it. But it doesn’t follow that you only need execution so stop focusing on ideas. You simply cannot fail on either front. Period. I want my peers to be building the next generation of world-changing startups. The more we can move away from these reductionist conversations that say “this, not this” rather than recognizing the complexity of creation, the better we position our whole ecosystem to amplify innovation.
Creation is entirely dependent on ownership. Ownership not as a percentage of equity, but as a measure of your ability to change things for the better. To build and grow and fail and learn. This is no small thing. Creativity is the manifestation of lateral thinking, and without tangible results, it becomes stunted. We have to see the fruits of our labors, good or bad, or there’s no motivation to proceed, nothing to learn from to inform the next decision. States of approval and decisions-by-committee and constant compromises are third-party interruptions of an internal dialog that needs to come to its own conclusions.
Last month, in a small room on the fifth floor of a high-rise building in San Mateo, Calif., three men sat around a table, thinking. The place was wallpapered with Post-it notes, in a riot of colors, plus column after column of index cards pinned to foam boards. Some of the cards had phrases like “space maximizers” or “stuff trackers” written on them. Many had little three-dimensional ink drawings and titles, like “color-coded Tupperware horizontal stacker.” It looked as if these guys had been locked in and told they couldn’t leave until they dreamed up 1,000 of the wackiest home-storage items they could imagine.
.If you want to find out who drives innovation at a company like Facebook, it’s best not to look from the top down. Thus, while most of the press focused on 26-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg for being chosen as Time’s “Person of the Year,” a virtually unknown intern, Paul Butler, released his data visualization of human relationships globally based on ten million friend pair samples from the site (see image).
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