Creativity & Innovation: Top Picks

The creativity success manifesto

Jurgen Wolff

Whether you want to write a best-seller or launch a new business venture, success in any kind of creative endeavour depends on some common factors. Understand these and your chances of hitting the jackpot will be multiplied.

Innovative companies don't fear failure

Brian Amble

The world's most innovative companies welcome and harness failure to help them devise more successful ideas, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit has found.

The leader's link to creativity and productivity

Dan Bobinski

Far, far too many managers stifle the creativity and commitment of their people simply by the way they behave. But if they started doing more listening and less bossing, employee creativity and involvement might re-emerge.

Proof that innovation pays dividends

Brian Amble

It's often said that innovative firms perform better than their more pedestrian competitors. But where's the proof? And if they do perform better, by how much?

A beautiful idea is never perfect

Max McKeown

However great an idea, it will never be perfect. There will always be room for improvement, either in the detail of the idea or its implementation. And that's good news for anyone who wants to contribute and for any business that wants to grow.

More on Creativity & Innovation

Leadership and the curiosity quotient

Michael Hvisdos

Curiosity is one of the most vital - but least acknowledged - of leadership values. It is the catalyst for creativity and innovation, the building block of relationships and the magic ingredient that can lift a business from medocrity to wild success.

Leadership and the beauty principle

Michael Jones

For Steve Jobs, Apple's products had to be beautiful as well as functional. His pursuit of beauty highlights that while power may inspire the mind of a leader, it is beauty that inspires their soul, grips the imagination and inspires what needs to get done.

Soil, growth and the art of conversation

Michael Jones

Like seeds, ideas can only germinate when conditions are right. And while most organizations arenít short of ideas, theyíre much less adept at enriching the soil to enable these ideas grow. What builds this soil is conversation. But not all conversations are the same.

Business blind spots

James M. Kerr

Many breakthrough ideas get ignored because business leaders are unable to grasp concepts that don't fit their expectations of what will work within their firm or industry. So how can we avoid these business blind spots?

Boxing clever

Janet Howd

It's been argued that the invention of containerization led directly to the modern global economy. But it isn't just the packaging of goods that matters. How ideas are packaged is equally important.

Is unrelenting innovation possible?

Gerard Tellis

Why do some great firms fail while others succeed? Why have Sony, RIM, Kodak, General Motors and HP stumbled while Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Samsung have prospered? The answer lies in the great paradox of innovation.

Channels of communication

Janet Howd

Finding ways to make the world more interesting is catching. And organisations that let employees exercise their imagination and speak-out will find many opportunities growing in their own back yards.

China's long march to innovation success

Bill Fischer

China's journey from a seriously poor, insular, economy to the 'shop floor of the world' took a little more than two decades. Today, it appears poised to evolve into becoming a leading global innovator. But can China actually make this next great leap forward?

Great innovations deserve great names

Max McKeown

The name given to an innovation matters. A great innovation may survive without a great name but the name helps - particularly if it is also a product, a service, something you will be trying to sell, something that needs a brand.

Patently absurd

Janet Howd

The deliberate infringement of patents is clearly a legitimate cause for law suits. But we also need to remember that without copying, there is no progress. In nature, the most robust product is the one that survives.

Innovation: getting more from less

Simon Mosey

Getting more from less has been one of the big drivers of invention and innovation throughout history. But what is innovation? What does it entail in practice - and how can organisations build an innovation culture?

Innovation and the readiness to do something new

Edward de Bono

Real innovation implies a readiness to explore and implement new ideas. But many organisations have a deep-seated fear of failure and do not like to try new things, even when much lip-service is paid to innovation.

Cultural intelligence and creativity

David Livermore

Research on individuals who are culturally intelligent reveals that not only are they better at working effectively across various cultural contexts, they are also more creative and innovative.

The idea hunter

Bill Fischer

Most individuals and organizations don't spend much time thinking about how they actually go about generating new ideas. But why are some people and places so much better at generating ideas than others?

A retrospective of the 21st Century

Bill Fischer

Looking back at the first decade of the 21st century, it's hard to avoid thinking that we should be ashamed of how little we have accomplished. But even if we haven't seen much revolutionary change, some vital trends have nevertheless emerged that will shape all of our lives.

Teamwork and creativity

Edward de Bono

Many people believe that creativity should be as free and unstructured as possible. But I would argue that creativity can better be delivered through teams whose function and tasks are clearly and distinctly defined.

The value of collaboration

Bill Fischer

Co-creation is the business idea of the moment. Why? Because the more ideas you can work with, the better. So more minds are always better than fewer, and the more different minds you can enlist, the higher the probability of finding a really different idea.

Management thinking is not all about problems

Edward de Bono

Far too many executives believe that management thinking is all about continuity and problem-solving. But what if something is not a problem?

Innovation lessons from Apple

Bill Fischer

Almost everyone's choice for the most innovative firm of recent years is Apple. But as history shows, it's far from easy to deliver consistent innovation. So what is the secret of Apple's innovation success?

Why intelligence does not equal better thinking

Edward de Bono

Most of us assume that intelligent people are better at thinking. But this is not necessarily true. Just because somebody is good at analysis doesn't mean that they will be good at design thinking or operational thinking.

Looking beyond problem-solving

Edward de Bono

Problem-solving is valuable in itself. But identifying a problem and working to put it right isn't the key to unlocking real creativity. That's all about exploring possibilities, questioning established ideas and looking for value.

Can China's maintain its competitive advantage?

Bill Fischer

Until now, China's competitive advantage has been based on cheap labour, not innovation. But if it is to remain anything more than a low-wage producer, China has to find innovative ways of sustaining growth.

Leadership and the need for creative thinking

Edward de Bono

It's no accident that business is more interested in thinking than other sectors of society. It is because business has a reality test. There is a bottom line. There are results. And better or more creative thinking will result in more profits or market share.

From blind spots to strategic intelligence

Bettina BŁchel

Nothing breeds success like success, the old proverb goes. But this is not always the case when it comes to business growth. Many organizations become victims of their own success. They achieve rapid growth by introducing new products but quickly find that they cannot sustain this for more than a couple of years.

More Good Stuff

Improving, not inventing: the secret of China's success

Bill Fischer

China is affecting the way global business operates and the way value-chains work. In particular, it is changing the speed at which business is done. And to do this, it is concentrating on improving, rather than inventing.

The power of proactive thinking

Edward de Bono

Every organisation can benefit from some deliberate thinking. This isn't the thinking we do when we are sitting at a desk or taking part in a discussion. It is a formal process designed to generate new ideas and perceptions, and to take action around any possibilities that exist.

How new ideas can challenge complacency

Edward de Bono

If you want to challenge complacency in an organisation, you need to make a strong case with strong ideas. Simply claiming that 'things could be better' is too vague.

Business improvement ideas: working in groups

Edward de Bono

Original thinkers ought to have the courage to pursue ideas on their own - even when those around them are negative. But there are some situations where groups can be helpful in coming up with ideas to improve the way a business operates.

Open spaces, open minds

Max McKeown

I'm often appalled at the physical spaces and meeting formats in which people are meant to open their minds, solve problems and inspire progress. Desks are for filling in forms and filing papers Ė not for creating, thinking, making, learning, or collaborating.

Creative thinking beyond the main track

Edward de Bono

More information does not in itself produce new ideas. Neither does more analysis or more logic. That's why there is a real need to develop the skill of creative thinking.

Creativity is easier when it's structured

Edward de Bono

There is a mistaken belief that there should be no restrictions or barriers around creativity. But in reality, creativity is easier if there is some structure. The introduction of focus actually enhances the process.

Reinventing the wheel

Max McKeown

It's easy to think that something is so simple that you couldn't improve it or so low-tech your intellect would be wasted even thinking about it. But you'd be wrong. Because anything that is invented can - and often should - be reinvented.

Focusing on problem-solving can lead to complacency

Edward de Bono

When things are going smoothly and there are no problems, people are fooled into believing there is no need to think. So they are lulled into a state of complacency Ė and continuity does not produce new ideas.

Business ideas, design and judgment

Edward de Bono

For most aspects of life, judgment is crucial and extremely useful. But judgment on its own isn't enough. Rather than accepting or rejecting an idea, you need look at business ideas in order to 'see where you can move to'.

Innovation through creativity

Edward de Bono

There are many myths about creativity. A major one is that creativity is a mysterious talent that some people have and others can only envy. But anyone can learn and practise the thinking skill of creativity.

How lateral thinking can help us find better ideas

Edward de Bono

The whole purpose of lateral thinking is to allow us to cut across patterns and to find new ideas. As with all creativity, the ideas must be valuable and logical in hindsight.