Posted by: Liz Massey | October 27, 2012

Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for October 27, 2012

Illustration courtesy of SXC.

The No. 1 Enemy of Creativity: Fear of Failure

Great post by management writer and entrepreneur Peter Sims about the role that failure and iteration play in creative business breakthroughs. Sims asserts that our educational system plays a major role in risk aversion in business, much to our and society’s detriment.

He writes,

“Entrepreneurs and designers think of failure the way most people think of learning. As Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy has shown through her research about how expert entrepreneurs make decisions, they must make lots of mistakes to discover new approaches, opportunities, or business models. She frequently references Howard Schultz who, when he started Il Giornale in Seattle, the company that Schultz used to later buy the original Starbucks brand and assets, the store had nonstop opera music playing, menus written in Italian, and no chairs. As Schultz has often said, ‘We had to make a lot of mistakes’ before discovering a model that worked.”

Great post about a major creative roadblock!

Does Your Workplace Affect Creativity? Mostly No | Scott Berkun

Berkun rebuts the recent trend of attributing the success of creative work teams to the design of the buildings they worked in. He names several famous innovation teams, including Apollo 11’s mission group and the Manhattan Project, which met in ordinary or even scruffy workspaces.

He explains,

“Look at the timeline of the greatest inventions throughout history. Or the greatest paintings. Most of them were made before electricity, before air conditioning, before a hundred comforts and conveniences we take for granted in all of our offices. Cherry picking recent breakthroughs and wrapping a theory around them is confirmation bias. Innovation and invention have been going on for millennia and any theory must include the past as well as the present.”

Nice contrarian view on a topic that has definitely gotten a lot of coverage over the past few years.

Why Creativity Is The New Economy

Richard Florida, an expert on economic competitiveness, demographic trends and cultural and technological innovation, discusses why developing the full human and creative capabilities of each individual has the potential to reignite the American economy.

10 Ways To Use Your Smartphone as a Killer Creativity Tool

Chuck Frey offers simple, yet powerful, tips for making the most of modern mobile devices to supercharge your creative problem-solving. My favorites: stocking a Kindle or other e-reader app with inspiring books on innovation, and downloading a mindmapping or sketching app to illustrate your ideas-in-progress.

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