Creativity at Work Newsletter May 2012
In this issue:
Review of The Innovators DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
Mind the Creativity Gap
Adobe recently published a global study on creativity, which shows a universal concern that creativity is suffering at work and school. While 80% of people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth, only 1 in 4 people believe they are living up to their own creative potential.
The study reveals a workplace creativity gap, where 75% of respondents said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative, despite the fact that they are increasingly expected to think creatively on the job. Across all of the countries surveyed, people said they spend only 25% of their time at work creating. Lack of time is seen as the biggest barrier to creativity (47% globally, 52% in United States). Continue reading here
Canada’s Globe and Mail has been running an excellent series of articles on the Creativity Gap and I was interviewed about creativity and innovation in government:
How budget cuts could kick-start creativity in the public sector
The signs were clear. A staggering deficit. A probable Conservative majority. Funding cuts to the arts were certain. Two questions remained: How significant the cuts? And, how to cope?
Managers at Canadian Heritage knew they were going to need some creative ideas to guide them through the coming transition… “Linda Naiman’s advice to government: Think more like artists; left brain thinking can kill creativity.” Continued here:
Book Review of The Innovators DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
Studies—like the Adobe survey mentioned earlier—show that business success in the 21st century resides in the ability to lead creatively and innovate. The problem is, very few business leaders know how to develop creativity and innovation within themselves or within the workplace.
How do innovators come up with groundbreaking new ideas? If it were possible to discover the inner workings of the masters’ minds, what could the rest of us learn about how innovation really happens?
Authors Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and innovation guru Clayton M. Christensen, teamed up on an eight-year study to find answers to these questions. They conducted extensive interviews with over 5,000 inventors, game-changing innovators, and executives, including Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley.
They found that specific patterns of behavior emerged over and over: one’s ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors.
You could be as innovative and impactful as the most creative people in business – if you change your behavior. Five behaviors, to be exact, which comprise the building blocks of the “Innovator’s DNA”:
- Associating: drawing connections between questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields
- Questioning: posing queries that challenge common wisdom
- Observing: scrutinizing the behavior of customers, suppliers, and competitors to identify new ways of doing things
- Networking: meeting people with different ideas and perspectives
- Experimenting: constructing interactive experiences and provoking unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge
“Key to creating innovative organizations and teams is to populate them with innovative people, processes that encourage the five innovative skills, and philosophies (a culture) that give employees the courage to try out new ideas and take smart risks.”
The book gives examples of five innovation behaviors in action from leaders at Amazon, Apple, Google, Skype, and Virgin Group – and mercifully the stories are concise and informative. Each chapter is organized to help you build on these behaviours to maximize your creative impact.
If you are well versed on the literature about creativity and innovation you will be familiar with the attributes described in this book. The Innovators DNA presents a fresh new perspective, by positioning these attributes as behaviors, or habits you can develop, rather than traits you were born with. I like the emphasis the authors place on behaviours because it shifts our perceptions from thinking, to, well, behaving. How hard can it be?
I found the book to informative, easy to read and it gave me a fresh way to think about the seminars and workshops I deliver on creativity and innovation. Buy The Innovators DNA on Amazon
And in case you missed it, check out my previous newsletter on how too sell creativity at work and get people on board.
About The Creativity at Work Newsletter
The Creativity at Work Newsletter provides overviews of new research in creativity and innovation, ‘best practices’ of leading organizations, links to new or relevant websites and an array ideas and techniques from innovation experts. Frequency ranges from monthly to quarterly. The newsletter is free and subscriber info remains private.