Going Back to the Garage: the rise of the Fintech intrapreneur

I recently attended a Fintech Meetup event involving 400 people present to hear the CEO of one of Australia’s four biggest banks speak about his innovation strategy. Unsurprisingly, it was to embrace innovation through technology and to create a people first culture. Interestingly, the people involved in organizing, hosting and even attending the event, seemed ...

Personal Mastery : An interview with Ida Nielsen – Bass Anchor for Prince

I had the unique privilege of interviewing Ida Nielsen, bass anchor for Prince and now stepping out in her own right as a singer – songwriter, following Prince’s tragic and premature death, age 57. In the interview and subsequent private conversations with Ida I discussed a number of topics with parallel lessons for anyone seeking to innovate ...

Communication is Key for Innovation Implementation and Business Success

The innovation book Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival hammers the point home that innovation is the key to your company’s survival—in other words, “innovate or die.” The recently published Robert’s Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation teaches readers how to implement an organized work culture of innovation in ...

Learning Innovation from Leonardo Da Vinci

This article focuses on a series of observations about Leonardo’s work and applies those to the challenges of the present-day innovator. When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci and innovation, the typical picture that emerges would be some of Leonardo’s amazing designs for flying machines, military equipment, or even the Vitruvian Man, perhaps the most ...

Serious Games & Innovation Management: Hélène Michel on Cubification™

Editor’s note: Hélène Michel is a researcher in innovative learning systems and an expert in serious games and gamification. She develops, imagines and experiments the digital tools that will be part of tomorrow’s classrooms. Innovation Excellence contributor, Nicolas Bry, shares his conversation with her. Hélène Michel is a brilliant professor at Management School of Grenoble, ...

The State of Crowdsourcing in 2016

Based on an updated 2015 dataset, the eYeka report provides an analysis of the latest evolutions of how the world’s largest companies are leveraging creative crowdsourcing. The report looks into which sectors, companies, and brands are the most active users of crowdsourcing for marketing and innovation, with a specific focus on FMCG. It also analyses ...

Breaking the Barriers of Creativity

Break_the_barriersWhat holds people back from being creative? Is it a lack of time? Do you not have a budget for doing creative work? Perhaps you work in an industry where there are lots of regulatory or legal barriers that seem to make it hard to generate novel ideas.

For many people, these types of constraints seem frustrating and overwhelming. They appear to be strict boundaries that seem to limit your ability to be creative.

But guess what? Surprisingly, constraints are not a barrier to creativity. In fact, constraints are a necessary condition for creativity to occur. Your brain works harder and smarter when given tight boundaries. The more constrained you are, the more creative you’ll be.

So what is it that seems to limit our creativity? The answer is a condition known as fixedness. Fixedness is a cognitive bias that limits our ability to see the world around us differently than what we’re used to. There are at least three types.

First is functional fixedness. Functional fixedness makes it hard for you to consider an object doing a job other than what it you know it to do. When you see a dry erase marker, for example, you instantly relegate it to the job of...well...marking. If you could force it in your mind to be available to do another job, you end up with a creative idea.

One of my pet peeves is when someone takes a permanent marker and writes on a white board. Okay, maybe I’ve done it once or twice.  When that happens, take a regular dry erase marker and write over it. Voila! Permanent marks are gone! Now that’s creative.

The second type is structural fixedness. This type makes it really hard to imagine objects having a different structure than what we’re used to. Let’s go back to our dry erase marker. Why are these markers always straight? That’s fixedness. What if we could imagine a curved marker or perhaps one with a grip. Instead of holding it like a pencil, we can bend it so it fits in our hand better. Again, that’s creative.

Finally is what we call relational fixedness. This type of fixedness makes it very hard to imagine two objects having a relationship that wasn’t there before. As one object changes, the other object changes. Our mind doesn’t form these connections naturally because of relational fixedness.

Look at our simple whiteboard marker. What if it could change colors automatically when writing on different areas of the white board? Are there certain applications where that would be more convenient. When we find that application, we’ve generated a creative idea. We’ve broken through our fixedness to create new value.

We all have all three types of fixedness, and they hold back our ability to generate new possibilities. The good news is that you can break all three types. But you need a set of cognitive tools to do it.

by hellofuture llc