By Greg Holden, Business Writer & Social Media Manager, IRI
How do you spark creativity at work? This is a question as old as business itself and a topic of extensive research that has yet to be answered conclusively. What has been turned up through decades of study, however, is at least a cursory rebuttal of several big myths about how to encourage workers to be more creative. In a nutshell, creativity cannot be forced, only coaxed out of its hiding place with proper incentives.
What makes someone an innovator? Is it merely a creative individual with lots of ideas? Perhaps. Many will tell you, however, that creativity is only a part of the puzzle and ideas are innovative only if they lead to a practical application. Innovation, after all, is not just creatively thinking things up; it is acting on those ideas and creating something useful from them. Is an innovator someone who breaks down barriers, resists authority, and walks his or her own path? R&D rebels, mad scientists, skunk works, and R&D undergrounds all emerge because at some point this type of innovator is necessary. But such work and such people are often the exception not the rule. So what is it, what makes someone an innovator?