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Myths About Creativity You Need to Stop Believing Now

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.

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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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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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5 Common Myths About Creativity
  1. Creativity is only needed at the top. The truth is that creativity applies to everything. The executives are not only the ones who experience conflict, everyone doe...
Innovation in business

The idea of innovation is taking off just as fast as the businesses that embrace it.

But, not all companies are prepared to push innovation within their organizations. Changing workplace s...

Intrapreneurship

An intrapreneur can be defined as someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but brings their ideas to the company where they are employed instead of launching their own business. 

Instate a "no idea is a bad idea" policy, gather the support your employees need to try out their ideas and let them pitch decision-makers at your company.

McKnight’s 15-percent-time rule

This allows employees to spend 15 % of their paid work time daydreaming, doodling or experimenting with ideas that don’t necessarily have to do with their work at the company.

This kind of daydreaming is the genesis of invention and fosters passion for one’s work.

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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...

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.

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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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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Classical Music

Listening to classical music can help people perform tasks more efficiently. 

The absence of words in the music may be one factor, as songs that contain lyrics have been found to ...

“The Mozart Effect”

This theory suggests that listening to classical composers can enhance brain activity and act as a catalyst for improving health and well-being.

Nature Music

Listening to the sounds of nature (waves crashing or a babbling brook) has been shown to boost moods and focus. They also help mask harsher, more distracting noises, such as people talking or typing

Nature sounds work best when they’re soothing sounds (flowing water or rainfall, while more jarring noises (bird calls and animal noises) can be distracting.

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Stay Adaptable

Careers and markets change over time, and you’ll need to be able to change in kind to remain relevant.

Thinking outside the box will help you stay adaptable. Your mind won’t be closed ...

Gain Flexibility

If you view things as unchangeable, then nothing can change for the better. By thinking outside the box and questioning the status quo, you’ll constantly be considering how you could improve something.

Greater Perspective

Thinking outside the box can expand your worldview, allowing you to have a greater perspective on the events in your life. When you’re willing to consider alternative ways and points of view, you can find more potential solutions.

A greater perspective can make you more receptive to different ideas, which means that you won’t be limited by a small worldview. 

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Stepping outside the comfort zone

To take smart risks, you need to get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.

Leaders that learn to embrace choices outside their comfort zones are able to push the envelope in w...

Take an improv class

Every time you take a risk in your business, you face the possibility of failure.

Improv, a theatrical exercise where you improvise a scene with a group of people, essentially mirrors that experience. You have to get used to change fast.

Switch places with the receptionist

If you work behind a closed door, this will be a great exercise for stepping outside your safety zone.

You might have a less productive week, but seeing your workplace from a different perspective will foster an open mind and encourage collaboration.

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Definition of Creativity
Definition of Creativity

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"Naturally creative" people

Myth: "Some people are naturally creative and other people aren’t."

It’s true that some people spend more time on creative activities than others. But brain science is clear about the fact that there are creative brain states that can be turned on by some fairly simple actions. This means that everyone can learn how to be more creative.

Creativity and art

Myth: "Creativity means creating works of art."

Creativity is not just about being artistic. There are many ways to be creative, and creating works of art is just one way. Creativity includes many things, for example, cooking, programming, interface design, and problem solving.

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