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Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229600

entrepreneur.com

Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now
4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Most people think creativity is divinely-inspired, unpredictable and bestowed on only a lucky few. There are a lot of popular myths about business creativity, yet none of them have much scientific evidence.

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Key Ideas

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The Eureka Myth

The Eureka Myth

There is a big misconception that ideas generate like a flash.

Researches show that such insights are actually the culminating result of prior hard work on a problem. Itt&#...

287 SAVES


The Breed Myth

A lot of people think that creative ability is a trait inherent in one’s heritage or genes. In fact, there is no such thing as a creative breed.

Creative minds are not born, they a...

265 SAVES


The Originality Myth

There's a long-standing myth about intellectual property - the idea that a creative idea is proprietary to the person who thought of it.

But history and empirical research revealed th...

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The Expert Myth

Many companies rely on a technical expert or team of experts to generate a stream of creative ideas. Harder problems call for even more knowledgeable experts.

Instead, research sug...

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The Incentive Myth

This myth argues that that bigger incentives, monetary or otherwise, will increase motivation and hence increase innovation productivity.

Incentives can help, but often th...

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The Lone Creator Myth

People often think that striking creative works are just done by a single person, ignoring supportive work and collaborative preliminary effort.

Creativity is often a team effort, a...

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The Brainstorming Myth

Many people talk about brainstorming, as group discussions to explore every possible approach, no matter how far-out, to yield creative breakthroughs.

But there is actually no proof...

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The Cohesive Myth

Believers in this myth want everyone to get along and work happily together to foster innovations.

However, many of the most creative companies have found ways to structur...

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The Constraints Myth

It states that constraints hinder a person from becoming fully innovative, compared to people that have "unlimited" resources.

Research shows, however, t...

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The Mousetrap Myth

It states that once we have a new idea, the work is done.

But the world won’t beat a path to our door or even find the door to an idea for a better mousetrap unless we com...

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The right side of the brain

The right side of the brain

Creativity isn’t the preserve of one side of the brain, and it isn’t a talent confined to people with a special kind of brain. If you’re human and you’ve got a brain, you’re capabl...

The “Eureka!” moment

This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.

That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.

The lone, eccentric geniuses

In reality, creativity is a team sport.

The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.

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Innovation and Creativity

Innovation and Creativity

Creativity is about formulating new original ideas, while innovation is about how those ideas are being incorporated to produce and introduce new, useful, and feas...

Innovation in Entrepreneurship and Startups

Innovation can be achieved by mature, large companies, not only by startups.

While most innovation comes from startup companies, some of the top innovative companies are mature and large (Apple was founded in 1976 and generates $228 billion. Google: 1998, $78 billion, Microsoft: 1975, $87 billion.) The myth acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy and deters large companies from attempting to innovate like startups.

Being born creative

Creativity can be learned and exercised.

It can be affected by your practices, how you expose yourself to old ideas, procrastinate to let them incubate, trigger the combination of those ideas into new ones, and relax to let it happen. Great ideas might feel accidental, but they are not.

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Benefits of a learning culture

During the last recession, companies that invested in their employees, in part by providing the training they needed to move forward in their careers, enjoyed profit gains of 26 percent, compared t...

When hiring, screen for learners

  • Ask about passion projects. Learners tend to pursue something else outside work (training for a marathon, playing with a band, etc.)
  • Focus on curiosity as much as hard skills. Bring up problems currently facing the team and see how the candidate responds.
  • One of the most important things to a learning mindset is the ability to admit you don't know something. So be aware of how they approach the things they don't understand.

Learning as a company policy

This means explicitly defining ongoing learning as a core company value.

Empowering employees can mean providing the time or money to enable learning - in other words, offering learning opportunities as a job benefit like health insurance. 

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