Steven Dubner: Understand the Nature of Creativity — and Success.

Steven Dubner:  Understand the Nature of Creativity — and Success.


There’s an irony in trying to get people
to do their best work — but particularly to try new things and to innovate — in that
very often the kind of characteristics that are common to someone who will have a good
new idea have no overlap with the characteristics that are common to someone who’s really
good at presenting in meetings. So it’s kind of like the difference between like sales
and R&D, right? So the people that are in your sales or marketing division in a company
are very different kinds of person than the people you have in R&D or something else like
that. The problem is if you do the traditional route
of trying to encourage innovation by having meetings and, let’s say, let’s brainstorm
and talk about what you think a good idea might be, the problem is that the people who
might be very best at innovating are often the people who are very worst at presenting
in a meeting like that or selling their ideas. One piece of evidence in that argument is
the fact that so many true innovators don’t work in groups. You have to fail a lot when
you innovate. And failure in a public setting can really hurt your self-esteem and your
self-confidence. So you need to create an environment where people really can be empowered
to fail.

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