The 10 myths of creativity
In his book “The myths of creativity” , David Burkus demystifies the creative process, and explodes what he calls the top ten myths about creativity, based on his research with highly creative individuals and firms.
His top myths are as follows:
- The Eureka myth – that creativity strikes (as Terry Pratchett says) like particles of inspiration sleeting through the universe
- The Breed myth – that some people are just more creative than others
- The Originality myth – that creative ideas are original (as opposed to a combination of existing ideas)
- The Expert myth – that creativity comes from creative experts
- The Incentive myth – that you can incentivise people to be creative
- The Lone Expert myth – that creativity comes from inidividuals working alone
- The Brainstorming myth – that you can brainstorm creativity
- The Cohesive myth – that you have to suspend conflict to be able to innovate
- The Constraints myth – that creativity must be unconstrained
- The Mousetrap myth – that once you have the creative idea, the world will beat a path to your door. It won’t
Organisations need to unlearn these myths, and to see creativity not as an individual attribute, but as a team process ,ideally one that mixes many viewpoints and personality types, one that starts from a problem rather than an idea (usually a big out-of-the-box problem), that remixes existing knowledge, defers judgement, and operates under stress and time pressure. Like this process, for example
You can learn more about these myths in David’s hour-long talk at Google, below.