Innovation, Humility and Genius


In American culture we consider creative and innovation people to be geniuses.  This places a lot of pressure on creatives and innovators to continually produce amazing work.  We treat creatives as if they posses the internal power to create.  However, they don’t have the power to control the creative process.  They have simply learned to make themselves available to inspiration.
Elizabeth Gilbert in a TED Talk made an interesting point about genius.  She said that we have it all wrong.  She said that people aren’t geniuses they are simply influenced by the genius.  She stated that if we think about genius and inspiration in this way we will have a more accurate picture of the creative process.
I agree with her.  I have often stated that you can’t force creativity or inspiration and that people need to set aside time to be inspired.  You can’t force inspiration, and you can’t plan it.  You can just make yourself available to it.  That is one reason I think entrepreneurs should limit the amount of venture capital, debt and non-productive assets they accumulate.  Debt, Venture Capital and non-productive assets require time and energy to manage, and this time could be used searching for inspiration.  These things also place pressure on the entrepreneur, and limits the freedom they have to create and innovate.
P.S. We are proud to officially launch the New Contemporary Analysis (CAN).  We are launching a suite of predictive analytical systems that are designed to be simple, easy to implement, and applicable to almost any type of business.

Comments
  • Laura Stanley says:

    I agree with the idea that creative people are expected to produce results consistently. I also like the perspective that says that geniuses are merely creative people harnessing precedented genius in new forms. I think that at first glance, people see that these two can be meshed together so that entrepenuers/innovators can systemize their own inspiration, so that they can produce new ideas on a consistent basis.
    Attempting to systemize inspiration for consistent results adds pressure to the creative person until his/her ideas dehydrate.
    You mention time as a key element in finding inspiration. What other practical ways do you suggest companies inspire their employees to imagine and create?

    • gstanley says:

      Laura,
      Thanks for commenting! You rock. CAN helps our employees be creative by having a set time to start work each day, and limiting interruptions. We start each day at 7am, and employees can leave as they finish their work for the day. This forces them to give their ideas the neccessary time to full curate their ideas. We also limit interruptions by using Skype for internal office communications outside of meetings. How do you curate great ideas?

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