Could creativity be as simple as following templates? In 1914 psychologist Wolfgang Köhler embarked on a series of studies about chimpanzees and their ability to solve problems. He documented the research in his book The Mentality of Apes. In one experiment, he took a newborn chimp and placed it in an isolated cage, before the newborn saw or made contact with other chimps. He named her Nueva.
Innovation is anything that is new, useful, and surprising. "Surprising" means that the idea makes you slap your forehead and say, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?"
Here's a great example. Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects — no glasses (or contact lenses) required. It is a classic and clever example of the Divison Technique, one of the five techniques in Systematic Inventive Thinking.
Just as there are five techniques of systematic innovation, there are six universal principles of persuasion. These principles help people know when it's appropriate to say 'yes' to a request. For innovators, creating great ideas is the first imperative. But then the hard part starts - how to align and convice others of the value of your idea.
Take a look at this Infographic and YouTube video that explain the Six Universal Principles of Persuasion.
People need time to innovate, but corporations tend to "tax" employees with time-wasting bureacracy. As reported in The Economist, clutter is taking a toll on both morale and productivity. "Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School studied the daily routines of more than 230 people who work on projects that require creativity. As might have been expected, she found that their ability to think creatively fell markedly if their working days were punctuated with meetings. They did far better if left to focus on their projects without interruption for a large chunk of the day, and had to collaborate with no more than one colleague."
Philips North America announced the launch of the second annual Philips Innovation Fellows competition, in conjunction with the release of its 2014 North America Innovation Report. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of North Americans consider themselves innovators, of which a majority (72 percent) believe they are sitting on an idea for “the next big thing,” and just need money and ‘know how’ to develop it. The Philips Innovation Fellows Competition awards mentoring and $100,000 in cash prizes to inspire would-be entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life by entering the competition.
Humans are creatures of habits, and these habits can be analyzed and codified into rules that help us perform better. Many times, we're not even aware of the habits that control our choices.
Conside the child's game, Rock-Paper-Scissors. The odds of winning are one in three. At least, that's what chance predicts. But people do not play randomly - they follow hidden patterns that you can predict to win more games than you should, a study has revealed.
Creativity is what you do in your head to generate an idea, while innovation is the process of putting it into practice. You need both to succeed, which may be why the number of new books on these topics seems to grow every year. Yet despite the popularity of this category and the steady stream of new books, I continue to go back to the classics, those books that actually taught me how to do it versus those books that just talked about it. Caution – these are not “light reads,” but they’re the ones I’ve learned the most from.
“Simply by taking that fifteen-minute step, these citizen scientists make a contribution to saving bees,” LeBuhn said. “It’s remarkable having all these different people willing to participate, willing to help, and interested in making the world a better place.”
A new study by Philip Hans Franses of the Erasmus School of Economics in the Netherlands may suggest the point in time when we reach our creative peak.
Franses examined the lifespans of 221 famous painters between 1800 and 2004, and estimated the year they created their most creative work based on the artist's most expensive painting ever sold. "For each of these artists, the most expensive painting was identified and taken as an indicator of peak creativity," Franses said in the study.