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Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now

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. It's like our brain is connecting the dots to form an image.

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Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now

Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now

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

entrepreneur.com

10

Key Ideas

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. It's like our brain is connecting the dots to form an image.

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 are made. People who have confidence in themselves and work the hardest on a problem are the ones most likely to come up with a creative solution.

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 that new ideas are actually combinations of older ideas and that sharing those helps generate more innovation.

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 suggests that particularly tough problems often require the perspective of an outsider or someone not limited by the knowledge of why something can’t be done.

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 they do more harm than good, as people learn to game the system.

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, and recent research into creative teams can help leaders build the perfect creative troupe.

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 that just "throwing ideas around" consistently produces innovative breakthroughs.

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 structure dissent and conflict into their process to better push their employees' creative limits.

The Constraints Myth

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

Research shows, however, that creativity loves constraints. So maybe companies should try doing the opposite: intentionally apply limits to leverage the creative potential of their people.

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 communicate it, market it and find the right customers.

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

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