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The Lonely Genius: A Creativity Myth
 

The Lonely Genius: A Creativity Myth

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For many years and decades, the idea of the lonely genius coming up with a great idea due to a sudden insight has been a compelling tale. Senior scientists, project managers, entrepreneurs and ...

For many years and decades, the idea of the lonely genius coming up with a great idea due to a sudden insight has been a compelling tale. Senior scientists, project managers, entrepreneurs and political leaders tell the world a story of brilliant ideas, going against current establishment, and finally making the world kneel before them. But reality shows that this is by no means true. This work will present some of the most typical creativity myths, and how teamwork and pluridisciplinarity become critical in a complex world like the one we live today.

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  • For many years and decades, the idea of the lonely genius coming up with a great idea due to a sudden insight has been a compelling tale. Senior scientists, project managers, entrepreneurs and political leaders tell the world a story of brilliant ideas, going against current establishment, and finally making the world kneel before them. But reality shows that this is by no means true. This work will present some of the most typical creativity myths, and how teamwork and pluridisciplinarity become critical in a complex world like the one we live today.ur contemporary Western conception of the artist as an inspired, solitary genius originated only in the early 1800s." What explains the persistence of this myth – which has often led to artists feeling the need to be eccentric, to talk about the inner meaning of their art works, and to develop a unique style of painting?Keith Sawyer: Conceptions of creativity are different in other cultures, and they also differ quite a bit across historical time. Prior to the romantic period of the early 1800s, even our own cultures had a very different set of beliefs about creativity. Much of this was focused on inspiration by God, or becoming closer to the divine. Imitation of nature, God's creation, was highly valued – unlike today, where imitation is equated with a lack of creativity. Artists were thought of as skilled craftsmen, something like a silversmith or a blacksmith – respected to be sure, but not exalted as expressing the pure inner spirit of the human experience. That came with the romantic period, when combined with America's frontier culture.
  • http://es.linkedin.com/in/justohidalgo
  • Marie CurieEdison EinsteinBerners-LeeJohn Nash Graham Bell Watson – Crick
  • Haveyouseen “Intothe wild”?“Standingontheshoulders of giants” (Bernard de Chartres, usedby Newton) Weallstartfrom a contextWeallstartfrompreviousworkOthers compete againstus, publicorprivately (e.g. Miguel Ángel y Da Vinci)
  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/29523/the_thomas_edison_myth.html?cat=49http://xroads.virginia.edu/~class/am485_98/brady/edison/edison.html
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/what_i_see/274792862/
  • Isaac Newton, Archimedes, …Ideas donotsurvivealoneThebook “Creativity” narratesmanyexperiences of thiskind:therewas a “eureka” momentindeed, butafteruncountablehours of previouswork
  • It turns out that Einstein didn’t discover this equation; it was known for years before his 1905 paper.  But no one had worked out the math to prove that the equation was right; that’s what Einstein was trying to do in the paper.  But Einstein’s math skills weren’t so great, and he made several critical mistakes.  It wasn’t until 1911 that another physicist, Max von Laue, developed a full and correct proof.This wasn’t an isolated story, either, according to Ohanian’s book: pretty much all of Einstein’s publications were incomplete and contained errors.  Other physicists, very few of them with such famous names, put it all together and made sure everything worked.The point isn’t to tear down Einstein’s reputation; Ohanian still believes he deserves a lot of credit.  He often had the right instincts, even if other people had to come along later to prove he had been right.  But his instincts were often wrong, too–for example, his futile search for a unified field theory over the last decades of his life.http://keithsawyer.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/einsteins-genius/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mansionwb/3585890288/
  • AccordingOsborn, orMihalyCsikszentmihalyi, thecreativeprocessisdivided in (basically) 5 stages:PreparationIncubationInsightEvaluationEllaboration. Edison’s “creativityis 1% of inspiration, 99% of perspiration”
  • The flow state of peak experience is extremely positive and self-actualizing, butit would be misleading to describe it as “fun.” Creativity isn’t easy or peaceful.Although creators are often in a flow state, they have to train for years and workhard to get there. And they have to constantly accept new challenges to keepthemselves in the flow state; they never let themselves get too comfortable. Thesame activities that put a creative person in flow often seem either deathly boring or incredibly stressful to the rest of us.http://www.shareyourwallpaper.com/celebrities-male/michael-jordan/show/17047/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/113323784/
  • Thereis no documentationabouthowinnovatorsinnovate. “Creativity” isone of thebest tries, butmanyinnovatorsdidnotwanttobeinterviewed.
  • Others:Japaninventedfireweaponsbeforetheywereinvented in Europe, buttheysawthesword as a symbol USA alreadyknewthe imperial system, why use themetricone?Conclusion: MarsOrbiter, 1999. HTML, isitthebestlanguagepossible
  • Automobiles, internet, DDT, nuclear energy, mobilephones, …Thereisalways a trade-off. Butthe inventor can notalwaysknow in advance
  • Graham Bell waskicked off from Western Unionwhen he presentedhis “phone” in 1874. “A toy”. Galileo?Darwin’stheory of evolution?Eiffel’stowerwasextremelycriticized, and wasaskedtobebrokendownManydifferentreasons:Ego/envyPride, politicsFearPrioritiesNevermindednessSecurityGreedConsistency
  • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/116/295271476_5d96855480_o.jpg
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/aidanmorgan/2331754875/http://innovationprinciples.blogspot.com/2010/03/creative-thinking-is-slow-thinking.htmlAS FAR as the internet or phone networks go, bad connections are bad news. Not so in the brain, where slower connections may make people more creative.Rex Jung at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and his colleagues had found that creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate, which is found in neurons and seems to promote neural health and metabolism.
  • Whatit’shardisto realice it’s a good idea:Mouse:piece of woodwith a cableAutomobiles at theend of the 19thcentury
  • Historyisdefinedafterthefacts. Reality, likewhatalmosthappenedtoTrotski,neversurvives timeWelovestories and heroicmyths:Jobs, Brin&Page, Gates, … are ourheroes
  • Conflictbetweeninnovators and managers
  • IDEO’s CD playerforthekitchen
  • AnthropologistExperimenterCross-pollinatorHurdlerCollaboratorDirectorExperienceArchitectSet DesignerStorytellerCaregiver
  • Somebody has to “observe theworld” and find new needs.
  • Theprocessexpert. Responsiblefortakingrisks, and are prototypeusers!
  • E.g.Jacqard’slooms : punchedcardsE.g.Ivy league collegestudents’ FrisbieBakingCompany’s metal pie tins => frisbee
  • E.g. Richard Branson, managedtoget $10M tocreate a new airlineE.g.Lexushad a qualityproblem. Instead of hiding, theywentuserbyuser, solvedtheissue, and cleaneditafterwards. A credibilityproblemwastransformedintoanextremelygoodservice
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisbrenschmidt/2223763842/
  • E.g. Starbucks. Transformthecafeteria in a vital experience
  • Theworldisnotmade of electrons and protons… itismade of storiesTheOdissey, Beowulf, …
  • “I’malwaysreadytolearn, though I don’talwaysliketobetaught”, by W. Churchill
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnlemon
  • http://www.ideaconnection.com/articles/00106-Creativity-Myths.html

The Lonely Genius: A Creativity Myth The Lonely Genius: A Creativity Myth Presentation Transcript

  • TheLonelyGenius:A CreativityMyth
    Justo N. Hidalgo, Ph.D.
    jhidalgo@denodo.com
    June 25th, 2010
  • Ph.D.ComputerScience
    Data Integration, Web Systems
    Training in StrategicInnovation and CreativityTechniques in Stanford, CA and Berkeley, CA
    TeachingStrategicInnovation and Creativity at Nebrija University, Madrid, Spain
    VP Product Management and Consulting, Denodo Technologies
    Blog (in spanish)
    www.loscuentosdelabuelo.com
  • 1. Thelonely inventor
  • Edison had a 16-people skunkworksteam
    His role wasthat of the “team leader” and “brandperson”
  • 2. Epiphany
  • 2. Incubation
    1. Preparation
    4. Insight
    5. Verification
    3. Intimation
  • 3. CreativityisFun
  • 4. Creativitymeansrejectingconventions
  • 5. Thereis no single methodforinnovating and beingcreative
  • Source: Eugene Shteyn
  • 6. Best ideas win
  • 7. Innovationisalwaysgood
  • 8. Peoplelike new ideas
  • Everett Rogers and Geoffrey Moore thoughtaboutthis
  • Product AdoptionLifecycle
  • 9. Time PressureFuelsCreativity
  • A little 6-year-old girl was in a drawing lesson. The teacher went over to her and she said, "What are you drawing?" and the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." And the teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." And the girl said, "They will in a minute.”
    (http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/69)
    10. Good ideas are difficulttofind
  • 11. Weunderstandthehistory of innovation
  • 12. Yourbossknows more aboutinnovationthanyou
  • Let’sfind a Problem
  • And let’sfind a Team
  • … notnecessarily in thatsameorder
  • 1. Anthropologist
  • 2. Experimenter
  • 3. Cross-Pollinator
  • 4. Hurdler
  • 5. Collaborator
  • 6. Director
  • 7. ExperienceArchitect
  • 8. Set Designer
  • 9. Storyteller
  • 10. Caregiver
  • You are notalone!!!
  • Thankyou
    Justo N. Hidalgo
    jhidalgo@denodo.com
  • Relatedwork
    Books:
    ExplainingCreativity: TheScience of HumanInnovation; R. Keith Sawyer, 2006
    TheMyths of Innovation; Scott Berkun, 2007
    A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink, 2006
    The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout your Organization, Tom Kelley, 2005
    Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, M. Csikszentmihalyi, 1997
    Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, M. Csikszentmihalyi, 2008
    Articles:
    Deconstructing the Lone Genius Myth: Toward a Contextual View of Creativity; A. Montuori, R. E. Purser, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 35, No 3, 69-112 (1995)
    The Myth of Right Hemisphere Creativity; T. Hines, Journal of Creative Behavior, v25 n3 p223-227 (1991)
  • Credits
    Unlessotherwisedescribed, allpictures share CreativeCommonslicenses and are attributed in the notes section of thepresentation. Ifyoufindany error oromission, pleaselet me know at justohidalgo@gmail.com