Rewriting the 10 Myths of Creativity

If we want to be more creative, if we want our organizations to be more innovative, then we have to learn from organizations and individuals who are rewriting the myths of creativity.

David Burkus, professor of management at Oral Roberts University and a researcher on leadership, innovation, and strategy, has conducted studies into how individuals and organizations approach the creative process,

The research by Burkus found ten myths widespread in the modern world relating to creativity and innovation. These are myths in the traditional sense: they’re based on observing something seemingly unexplainable, and then crafting a logically sound (but faulty) explanation. These myths were prevalent almost everywhere Burkus looked—everywhere except in the most innovative companies and people.

The Ten Myths of Creativity

  • The Eureka Myth
  • The Breed Myth
  • The Originality Myth
  • The Expert Myth
  • The Incentive Myth
  • The Lone Creator Myth
  • The Brainstorming Myth
  • The Cohesive Myth
  • The Constraints Myth
  • The Mousetrap Myth

The truth is that all new ideas are built from combing older ideas. The novelty comes from the combination or application, not the idea itself.

But many of these myths of creativity are plainly false. They aren’t supported by research or history, and in some cases what Burkus found about creative efforts directly contradicts the myths we choose to believe. Any model or method for creativity based on the mythology will offer little help in making us more creative.

If you want to develop more creative individuals and build more innovative organization, then it’s time to question existing models.

It’s time to rewrite the myths of creativity.

>> Download Rewriting the Ten Myths of Creativity here.


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Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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