Category Archives: Creativity

Should Innovators Reveal How Much They Let Technology Make Creative Choices?

BrainIs it true? Do the most creative people generate ideas straight out of their heads without any outside help? That's what most people would tell you. But the reality is that the best innovators boost their creative output with the help of structured tools like patterns and even technology.

David Pogue wrote a brilliant article in Scientific American titled, "Should Artists Reveal How Much They Let Technology Make Creative Choices?" He cites numerous examples of how artists and entertainers use various types of aides to create their masterpieces. From the article:

Apple's GarageBand program for Mac computers lets you create fully orchestrated “compositions” just by dragging tiles into a grid. Everything sounds great, whether or not you know anything about rhythm, pitch or harmony. At the time of GarageBand's introduction, its product manager told me that even if the program semiautomates the composition process, it still gives people a taste of the real thing. It could inspire a novice to learn music, maybe take up an instrument.

Agreed. But how can we gauge artists' talent without knowing how much of the work was theirs? Should it affect how much we pay for their output? And what about when commercial musicians use GarageBand to produce their tracks—as Oasis and many indie bands have done?

Everyone knows that technology assists almost every creative endeavor these days, from the moment a four-year-old drips paint onto a turntable to make spin art. We also are aware that Hollywood uses computers for its special effects and that most pop songs are Auto-Tuned and pitch-corrected. But in those cases, the audience is in on the fact that machinery has helped out.

It's not the same thing when technology's assistance is concealed from us and is credited to the human. That's why lip-synching at live concerts is still controversial and why athletes are disqualified for secretly using drugs or other performance enhancements. Disclosing when our creative works have come from canned parts isn't just important for intellectual honesty; it would also make a better barometer for the rising tide of robots entering creative fields. (If you hadn't heard, robots are now capable of composing chorales and painting portraits.)

These days even professional musicians, artists and performers can substitute an on/off switch for human talent. Shouldn't the public know which is which?”

David's point about whether the public should know is well-taken. But in the grand scheme things, what matters most is how humans can elevate their creative output. Extensive research has shown structured approaches do more to boost creative output than to limit it. For thousands of years, inventors have embedded five simple patterns into their inventions, usually without knowing it. These patterns are the "DNA" of products that can be extracted and applied to any product or service to create new-to-the-world innovations. Using these patterns is no different than using a human-engineered technology. The technology has within it the wisdom of its creator that is then transferred to others to boost their creativity.

Humans have evolved to create. Stepping on the shoulders of others, be it through a technology or a pattern, is our next evolutionary path.

 

 

Harness Collective Genius: Develop learning agility!

When I was living in Israel, seeking a more meaningful life, I was unable to work in my culture consulting, top team and leadership development areas of expertise. As a result of this very serious and high impact problem I experienced a powerful and deep collision between the necessity to earn a living, and the ...

Harness Collective Genius: Develop learning agility!

When I was living in Israel, seeking a more meaningful life, I was unable to work in my culture consulting, top team and leadership development areas of expertise. As a result of this very serious and high impact problem I experienced a powerful and deep collision between the necessity to earn a living, and the ...

Thinking Outside The Box with Crowdsourcing

At our Industry and Research conference, I was asked by Sihem Jouini to define the 'unfair advantage' of Imagine with Orange, a platform dedicated to crowdsourcing innovative ideas. Jouini is Associate Professor and Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship major at HEC ExMBA, and a researcher in organizational design for innovation and creativity.

What Mike Tyson and the Stoics Teach Us About Innovation

I spend a great deal of time searching for new ways of thinking about innovation and I must admit that I never thought that I would write an innovation article that included both Mike Tyson and the ancient practice of Stoicism. In his new book, Tyson recalls life lessons to which he attributed much of his success. These ideas, similar to the Stoics' are worth exploring from an innovation practitioner perspective.

Transformation = Change = Life

Any Transformation, Including Digital Transformation, Requires Embracing Change There is a scene from the comedy Friends that I remember vividly – Jon Lovitz was the guest star and there was a scene between him and Courtney Cox where he is high on something like pot brownies. He continues to repeat the word “Tartlets” over and…