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Why Constraints Are Good for Innovation

https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-constraints-are-good-for-innovation

hbr.org

Why Constraints Are Good for Innovation
Executive Summary New research suggests that managers can innovate better by embracing constraints. Researchers reviewed 145 empirical studies on the effects of constraints on creativity and innovation, and found that individuals, teams, and organizations alike benefit from a healthy dose of constraints. It is only when the constraints become too high that they stifle creativity and innovation.

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Constraints vs Obstacles

Constraints vs Obstacles

Constraints are viewed as obstacles. The common wisdom regarding obstacles suggests that we have to remove all constraints.

We tend to believe that by getting rid of all rules and regulations, real creativity and innovation will start to emerge.

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Embracing Constraints

Embracing Constraints

New research suggests that managers can innovate better by embracing and working with constraints, instead of viewing them as a hindrance to innovation.

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The Mind Needs A Challenge

The Mind Needs A Challenge

When there are no challenges in the creative process, complacency comes in, and people tend to go for the most intuitive and easy ideas rather than investing in the development of better but difficult to implement ideas.

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Providing Limited Resources

Providing Limited Resources

Managers may intentionally limit inputs by capping resources in corporate entrepreneurship projects, to motivate employees to challenge themselves and innovate.

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A Balancing Act

A Balancing Act

Do not impose too many constraints, otherwise, employee motivation is hampered and creative ideas don't have breathing space.

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