Newsletter 2
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Overcoming the "Myth-Takes" of Creativity

Most executives realize that to compete in today's business environment, innovation must be a priority in their organizations. Yet, few know how to create an innovative workplace. To do so, they must overcome the four "myth-takes" of creativity

There are four common, deeply embedded "myth-takes" which stand in the way of personal and organizational creativity. Like myths, they are widespread and widely believed. But like mistakes, they are wrong.

Myth-Take 1: "I'm not creative"
Erroneous beliefs:
Creativity is a gift, not a skill
Some lucky, "born-creative" people possess it - other people don't
Creativity can't really be learned, except by those who already have the gift.
Result: Most individuals do nothing to improve or to learn creative skills
Solution: Provide systematic training and practive in effective creative thinking skills. Both the "creative" and so-called "uncreative" will increase their I.Q. (Innovation Quotient).

Myth-Take 2: "Big Bang" theory
Erroneous beliefs:
The "Eureka Factor" - creativity is mainly concerned with major breakthroughs and discoveries
These are made only by creative geniuses, such as Newton, Edison, Einstein, etc.
Only the new, breakthrough product is creative. The process of step-by-step, incremental improvement is not considered to be creative.
Result: Home runs are the focus. Creativity is left to R&D, and senior professionals, strategists and marketers.
Solution: Foster incremental creativity at all levels throughout the organization. Encourage, reward, and leverage incremental improvements.
Myth-Take 3: "Creativity is limited to creative fields"
Erroneous beliefs:
Creativity is largely found in creative fields like the arts, design, R&D, and software development
Only the type of people found in creative fields really practice creativity
There is no place for creativity in logical, analytical, financial, or highly structured activities
People in these structured fields of activity do not need or use creativity
Result: Creativity is mainly encouraged in "creative" areas and only fully developed by those in such areas. The organization's creativity is firing on only a few cylinders.
Solution: Developing the creativity in the neglected, "uncreative" areas such as IT, finance, or operations, may produce the greatest advances in creativity. Teaching common creativity tools to all groups across the organization allows cross-functional synergy and broad-based innovation.

Myth-Take 4: "Creativity is only a frill or luxury"
Erroneous beliefs:
When business is bad, we can't afford to invest in creativity
When business is great, why bother to invest in creativity?
Creativity is fun and games, merely ornamental, not really useful in improving functioning, security, or practical utility
We can't afford to waste time, money, or resources in creative flights of fancy
Result: Lip service may be paid to creativity in the organization, but no significant investment is made. Because creativity is seen as an optional or dispensable "add-on" to the core business, many businesses become corporate road-kill, blindsided by their innovative competitors
Solution: Adopt a clear strategy of appropriate creativity and innovation to survive and thrive in a high-speed world. Make innovation strategy and capability a core goal. Drive change so you won't be driven by it.
This newsletter and the term "myth-take" are copyright MindRange® 2003.
All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.

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