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Human Creativity

Innovator’s Toolkit: 10 Practical Strategies to Help You Develop and Implement Innovation

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The Starting Point of Innovation

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Harvard Business Press Boston, Massachusetts

This document is authorized for use only by Manuel Gomez until July 2010. Copying or postingis an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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ISBN-13: 978-1-4221-3467-2

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Copyright 2009 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America

This chapter was originally published as chapter 11 of Innovator’s Toolkit: 10 Practical Strategies to Help You Develop and ImplementInnovation, copyright 2009 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior permission of the publisher. Requests for permission should be directed to permissions@harvardbusiness.org,or mailed to Permissions, Harvard Business School Publishing, 60 Harvard Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02163. You can purchase Harvard Business Press books at booksellers worldwide. You can order Harvard Business Press books and book chapters online at www.harvardbusiness.org/press, or by calling 888-500-1016 or, outside the U.S. and Canada, 617-783-7410.

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This document is authorized foruse only by Manuel Gomez until July 2010. Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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11

Human Creativity
The Starting Point of Innovation

Key Topics Covered in This Chapter

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Creativity and the creative process Myths and realities

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The components of individual creativity: expertise, flexible and imaginative thinking, and motivation Managing for creative output

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a r l i e r c h a p t e r s o f this book focused on the front end of the innovative process: ideageneration, opportunity recognition, and the processes that companies use to choose between many innovative ideas and move them toward commercialization. Very little was said, however, about the creativity from which ideas and innovations emerge, or about the things that managers can do to encourage it. We turn to these here and in chapter 12. But first, let’s examine the concept of creativity andsome popular misconceptions about it. The English word creativity has its source in the Latin creatus, to have grown. It refers to the human act or process of producing a new idea or approach to a problem. Innovation follows in the train of a creative idea—that is, innovation is the process that applies the creative idea to development of a useful product, service, process, business model, orpractice. Thus, creativity is the starting point of innovation. What goes on in creativity? Many have tried over the decades to answer this question. Perhaps one of the most useful was formulated by Graham Wallas in his 1926 work, The Art of Thought, where creativity was described as a four-stage process of:
Preparation:

This document is authorized for use only by Manuel Gomez until July 2010.Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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Incubation:

The individual’s mind perceives the problem and explores its dimensions

The problem enters the unconscious mind (as many say, “I’m sleeping on it”). Synthesis of the bits and pieces of the problem no doubt occurs during this stage

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Human Creativity...
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