The Myths About Creativity That you Need to Stop Believing

by Cecilia Magnergård on November 25, 2013

clip_image002Creativity is essential to entrepreneurship, whether you are a successful small business owner seeking solutions to an operational challenge, an aspiring entrepreneur pursuing your big idea or a veteran industrialist stuck in a rut.

Many think that creativity is unpredictable and granted only a lucky few – I think it is rather the opposite.

New research published in “The myths of creativity”  recently by David Burkus, supports my belief that almost all individuals with common sense, hard work and suitable training can come up with innovative ideas and solutions through creative thinking. Inspired by David Burkus research, Martin Zwilling summaries myths that are in need to be concurred in order to help individuals not to limit their thinking.

Below follows some of the deeply rooted myths that prospective innovators need to be aware of, and avoid, in order to be more creative than their competitors.

Breed myth

  • Even though many people tend to believe that creative ability is a characteristic inherent in one’s genes; the latest research shows that there is no such thing as creative breed. Individuals that work the hardest on a problem and have the greatest confidence in themselves are the ones that are most likely to come up with an innovative idea or a creative solution to a problem.

Originality myth

  • The originality myth reflects the contemplation that a creative idea is exclusive to the person who thought of it. Most empirical research and history shows however that sharing ideas helps to create more innovation, and innovations and new inventions are predominately created buy looking at old ideas from a new perspective. It is about combining old ideas with new ways of thinking where strict intellectual property are set aside.

Lone Creator myth

  • The lone creator myth deals with individual specific prestige and the tendency to modify history so that striking creative works and break through inventions attribute one single person; an approach that completely ignores the team exertion. Latest research shows however that creativity most often is a team effort, and that collaborative preliminary power and other supportive work throughout the whole innovation process is vital in order to come up with creative breakthroughs.

Eureka myth

  • New and creative ideas occasionally appear as a sudden flash of insight. Empirical research displays however that such seemingly unexpected insights are the culminating result of prior hard work on a problem. Consequently, as the thoughts the hard work has generated is given time to incubate and further develop in the subconscious mind; the creative idea can pop-up as new eureka-like innovations.

Constraints myth

  • The constraints myth reflects the common impression that the most innovative results come from people who have unlimited resources, implying that constraints hinder our creativity. The latest empirical research rather stresses the opposite; creativity loves constraints. In order to leverage the potential creativity of employees, business owners are recommended to, from time to time, intentionally imply certain gear limits and at the same time support employees with a virtuous team and their full trust.

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One cannot to strongly emphasise the importance of creativity for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Hard work, a clearly creative approach, the ability to team up, the organisations and teams acceptance of new ideas, domain expertise and people that are fully willing to engage are only of few of the components that drives creativity; and when components as such overlap – innovation happens!

About Cecilia Magnergård :

Analyst with deep knowledge in Economic Strategy, Innovation Management and Business Developmed combined with a profound interest in complex problem solving and the global financial markets. She has an BSc in economics and a Master of Science with a major in Engineering and Management specialised in Economics of Innovation and Growth from the Royal Institute of Technology.

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