Creativity and Innovation


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Creativity and Innovation by Kristine Karlsen (Researcher and City University Centre for HCID). The Centre for Creativity
is a new addition to City University London, set up to coordinate and promote research in the area of creativity and innovation in any and all professions and disciplines. From September 2010 we will be running a Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership, known as MICL. For more information:

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  • Creativity is a mental and social process involving the discovery of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. WikipediaInnovation - The creation, development, and implementation of a new product, process, or service with the goal of improving efficiency, effectiveness, or competitive advantage.
  • Creativity is often thought of as the gift of the few. Whether it’s a business man, film makers, musicians, artist or scientists. When asked who is creative people often list the lone geniuses. We, and many others, argue that this is simply not the case. Everybody is creative. 
  • Children are creative. They dare to try new things, are not afraid of being wrong and have yet to form barriers of their own to why something will or will not work. Nature or nurture-Not dependent on innate skills– It can be learned like other skills– All have potential to be creativeCreative ideas come from knowledge– Exploit knowledge available to us from diverse sources– Creative thinkers search for new ideas by manipulatingavailable knowledge and experienceDifferent influencing factors– Situations, cultures, processes and methodsUse theories and models to enable creative design..If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. – Sir Ken Robinson. 
  • If we are not creative, then how come we’re not still swinging around in the treetops? Extreme example, ok, but look around you. Everything you see here was once only imagined. We are a creative species. If we weren’t, then:We’d have no wheelWe certainly wouldn’t be flying We would not have electricity, or personal computersI would still be wearing glasses, or perhaps not be able to see anything but blurr. And who would have ever thought we needed an internet service allowing us to share information in short 140 character bits…?
  • Exploratory creativity– Explore space of partial and complete possibilities– Space implies rules that define the search space-Pringles Potato Chips were conceived via the analogy of wet leaves--which stack compactly and do not destroy themselves. Darwin reversed the situation, using a human solution to explain a natural phenomenon: His origin of species explanation stemmed from selective cattle breeding practicesCombinational creativity– One specific form of exploratory creativity– Make unfamiliar connections between familiar items– Gutenberg's printing press was a combination of the stamper used for minting coins and a wine press.Transformational creativity– Existence of rules implies rules can be changed– Paradigm shift leads to transformational creativity– Makes possible what was not possible previously– Rules about crisp shapes are changed – from bag to tube.
  • In the Everyday innovation report recently published by Nesta, 78% of organisation leaders surveyed said innovation was either very important or extremely important to their organisation. 70% said that focus on innovation will be reinforced by the recession. Another survey, done in america, said that only 4 % of leaders rated their organisation as good in innovation. That is a huge gap. We can probably all think of companies who is seen as good at innovation, but what about those that aren’t? Most of the companies surveyed In the Nesta report was not in the creative industries, they were charities, consultancies, public sector organisations etc. Even the government has jumped on the creativity & innovation wagon, producing the Cox review of Creativity in Business. Great. So we should all be creative and innovate ourselves out of recession. What’s the problem? Well there are a few hurdles to overcome first.
  • Ever had an idea, and had it immediately shot down as impossible, preposterous or just plain stupid… Did it make you feel like you wanted to share another idea? Probably not. You’re not alone. “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible” This was the judgment of Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, in 1895, just eight years before the Wright Brothers actually did it. And he repeated this pronouncement the year before their historic first flight in 1903. Imagine where we’d be if they had listened to him.Goundbreaking ideas are hard to accept.- Einstein said that all great original ideas at first appear absurd. My interpretation is that if something is truly groundbreaking, then as yet, it has no name, and there is no language to support it. Imagine going back in time and explaining the ipod to your great grandfather, or explaining the value of Twitter to your grandmother. They would probably not get it. This is why it is so easy to dismiss radical suggestions when they surface –it doesn’t fit into your current known world.The problem is most organisation are not set up to cope with this new drive towards innovation. Creativity & innovation is not part of the national curriculum and it’s hard to find people with the right skills to manage and drive innovation. And if you have a look on the web there are hundreds of articles describing what not to do. But what do you do to be good at innovation? Good question. 
  • One place to start is the organisational culture. If you look at organisations that are good at innovation, you’ll often find that their organisational structure is radically different than what you find in most organisations. Just look up Google or IDEO. An organisational culture that supports innovation is: - tolerant of failure and values risk taking. encourages personal initiative and proactivity. builds employees self-belief/confidence and courage. Personal characteristics of an innovative individual are:- Openness to ideas and experience, Original problem solving, Motivation.Intelligence is necessary, but not sufficient. Conscientiousness has negative correlation with innovationMotivation is key - management style significantly influences employee motivation to innovate. - Domain specific knowledge - 10,000 hours honing your skillsMalcolm Gladwell – combined with a broad general knowledge can be very powerful. Innovation must be entrenched in organisational values. 
  • Innovation doesn’t always mean that you are the first on the market with your idea. Sometimes improving or re-inventing what is already on the market can prove immensely successful. Check out this Braun T3 pocket radio (designed in the 60s) and Apple iPod – quite the resemblance. – of course apple’s innovation was to take a great piece of design and bring it into the present.One of the most astonishing renovation stories is Skoda cars. Bought by VW, they were transformed from joke to cult status, from death-trap to top-of-class. Why does a Skoda have a double rear-window heater? To make sure your hands stay warm when you’re pushing it. That’s how it used to be.
  • A bit about how we use creativity. We use creativity in early in projects to explore and discover the vision for the project along with goals, ideas and requirements for what the project is about and what the outcomes should be. Sometimes these are not obvious, and even though the organisation or group that we’re working with may have a reasonably clear idea of what they want, they more often than not have not considered the possibilities. In many cases, they just come to us with the wish to modernise an existing way of doing what they already do. For big socio-technical systems projects we usually kick things off with a Creativity workshop, which is a one or two day event involving representatives of all the stakeholders. We explore constraints, imagine what we could do without them, brainstorm, select interesting/important/intriguing ideas and explore the ideas these ideas further. This all feed in to the requirements specification for the system to be created. We have done this for big, multi-national projects in Air traffic control, Aircraft scheduling, Learning tools for work based learning, and food traceability. 
  • Recently we have started running creative workshops with smaller projects, both internal to the university and with external clients. These workshops are similar to the workshops we ran for the bigger projects but suit all manner & size of problems to solve. We’ve run these workshops with anything from 10 (e.g. with the environmental champions) – 80 people (in our Big City Brainstorm). It’s important to realise that what we do is not just a simple brainstorm, but that we use brainstorming as a tool in a wider creative process that both generates new ideas and further develops selected ideas into actions. Having ideas is nice, but what we really need is actions. Among the other creativity related things we do and research, a big focus at the moment is creative spaces, most recently we’ve been experimenting with creative design stations, which Sara will be telling you a bit more about.
  • Creativity and Innovation

    1. 1. Creativity and Innovation <br />– a generalized view and how we support it<br />
    2. 2. Who is creative?<br />
    3. 3. Creativity – Nature or. Nurture?<br />
    4. 4. If we hadn’t been creative<br />
    5. 5. Categories of Creativity (Boden 1990)<br />Exploratory creativity<br />Combinational creativity<br />Transformational creativity<br />Pringles, from wet leaves<br />
    6. 6. A bit about innovation<br /><ul><li>78% innovation very important
    7. 7. 70% focus on innovation will be reinforced in current climate</li></ul>Everyday Innovation Report - NESTA<br />
    8. 8. How to Kill Innovation<br /><br />
    9. 9. A Culture of Innovation<br />
    10. 10. Innovation doesn’t always mean new<br />
    11. 11. Creativity in Software Projects<br />Project domains we’ve worked on<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13. Thanks for listening<br />Get in touch!<br /><ul><li> Want to know more?
    14. 14. Need a Creativity Facilitator?
    15. 15. Would like to use our Creative Design Stations?
    16. 16. Do a short course or master class in Creativity over the summer?</li>