7 Misconceptions of How People Get Great Ideas

Trying to see creativity

There are a lot of misconceptions about how great ideas are generated.

Below, we attempt to clarify how great ideas for innovation and creativity come about... Let's jump right in:

💡 Misconception 1: Ideation is a mystical event.
🤯 Reality: Because the new is hard to see - we equate it to daring and mysticism. But we need to see something a few times before we notice it.

See in 3's:
1st time you won't see it.
2nd time, you'll have a hunch and say, "huh?"
3rd time you'll notice the new (be there.)

💡 Misconception 2. Ideas originate as singular individual events.
🤯 Reality: It's the system that produces the idea, not the individual. Ideas are a confluence of events, experiences, and actions that, when pulled together conceptually, congeal as an idea.

💡 Misconception 3: Ideas are merely connections.
🤯 Reality: Ideas require action, doing, and experiences. For without these actions, there'd be nothing to connect.

💡 Misconception 4: The new is unreasonable.
🤯 Reality: The new feels uncomfortable. For if it were not new, you'd be comfortable with it. This discomfort is often cast as unreasonable (earth is round, earth orbits the sun, inertia, etc.) Embracing discomfort is the antidote to the invisible. See #3 above.

💡 Misconception 5: Creatives are Eccentric.
🤯 Reality: Everyone and everything is creative. Our reality is creative. Creativity does not require an eccentric.
Creativity requires an embrace of difference, sans judgment.

💡 Misconception 6: Creativity is about the right people.
🤯 Reality: There is no such thing as individual. Creativity is a collaborative, intra-subjective, intra-dependent & emergent phenomenon. Claims that individuals are so unique that they transcend everything, that there is some “thing” special IN them, ignores an emergent outcome of processes that cannot be ignored.

Creativity is not human. Creativity and the new emerge from the middle of doing in an irreducible manner to any one component of the action (we want the credit from what is collective and emergent). In this manner it is always with others in highly interdependent and collaborative ways: humans, tools, practices, habits, actions, processes, concepts, environments…

💡 Misconception 7: Creativity is best conceived alone.
🤯 Reality: The emergent “you” is irreducible to what made you. The complex set of forces that gave rise to something new you are a part of cannot be deconstructed & reduced to a linear model revealing some core nugget came from you. We cannot point to any thing as “THE” cause or the source. It is not a unique mindset, brain, or experiences that will explain why you are you.

on What Is Innovation, and How to Innovate

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