"What's missing isn't the ideas... it's the will to execute them."
1. In the animal world the
innovators are usually those creatures
who are in difficulty in their group
A. True . This is logical after all. If you were the alpha male:
eating first, having the right to procreate, etc then why innovate.
Changes might put in risk your position.
Remember that old saw: "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".
2. People tend to innovate less at the intersections or frontiers
between disciplines. (The Medici Effect) For example between the
domains of biology and geology or folk music and rock and roll.
B. False. This is new and unclaimed territory. Here in the cracks there
are no preconceived ideas and traditions to overcome. By definition
what you create here is innovation and original since it wasn't there
before. In his book the The
analyzes and extols the "Breakthrough
Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures". One
example that I found particularly insightful was the case of Mike Oldfield .
Here was someone who was neither classical composer nor rock and roll
musician and his first album Tubular
bells was a mixture of the two
disciplines and effectively launched Virgin
3. More often than not it is better to
be average in intelligence and
not very creative.
A. True It all has to do with Gaussian distribution or as
social scientist call it the Bell Curve. Those with average
intelligence are at the apex of the curve. (this applies to creativity
as well) This means that they are
more like to succeed in evolutionary terms. Everywhere you look
Gaussian distribution is found in nature. It has become a
fundamental law of natural science. But
Carl Friedrich Gauss (a pretty interdisciplinary guy
himself) said that you find this distribution in stable times when
things are in equilibrium. That's why it is also called normal
However in times of change and chaos you see a quite different
distribution the well
curve. This is what you saw in turbulent times like the
Renaissance or during some wars. When everything is shifting it is a
better strategy to be either very creative or not at all.
You may want to read Bruce
Shape of Things to Come
4. Innovation and creativity are
A. True Don't be confused to create with to innovate. We
often think that all artists are creative but not all are
The State are of the Soviet Union is kitsch, and you could argue
creative in the sense that on the whole it created an ambiance. Let's
say that you are an innovative animal and you are trying out new food
sources instead of instinctively eating what everyone else does. The
new mushroom you just tasted could be wholesome with a tangy new
flavor, hallucinogenic, or poisonous. It is the same with humans. Take Nicolas
Tesla for example. Arguably all of twentyth century life was based
on his inventions: AC motors & lights, radio (yes not Marconi) etc.
Tesla had scars from electric burns all over his body. He said he had
to sometimes feel the resonance of the current (I mean actually touch
the electricity!) Let's not forget Vincent van Gogh.
Creativity and innovation have their drawbacks.
5. Tendencies towards innovation or
creativity in animals can be a real
drawback when exploring or invading new territory.
B. False It is when we cannot rely on old tried and true methods
that we must begin to explore other avenues of thought and behavior.
6. The origin and function of schools
are to suppress creativity and
foster tradition over innovation.
A. True Think of the monk pouring over his hand written text. The
function of schools is to teach what works not what is a la mode at a
particular time. Normally, this makes a great deal of sense,
just not if we are in the middle of a Cyber Renaissance. Moreover,
established schools are rarely in precarious situation which would
encourage creativity. However, the moment you need to create a new
school or decide to totally change the school's reason for being then
you are going to need heaps of "Innovation" .
7. Marriage generally ruins or
curtails a scientist's potential to
innovate and create.
A. True Well, that's what Satoshi
Kanazawa, a psychologist at the London School of Economics and
Political Science thinks. He stated that evolutionary psychology
explains that innovation in science is sort of like rams butting heads
together to prove they are good mating material and that afterwards
well, their interest wanes. Of course if you are asexual like Isaac
Newton then you can continue to innovate until your death bed.
(Issac claimed to have been a virgin all his long life.) You may want
to read the Boston Globe article do
scientists age badly?
You know there are women scientists...
8. Women and men express their
creativity in much the same way.
B. False At least according to Geoffrey Miller
who suggest that men use innovation and creativity to display and mark
their territory and that women are more likely to be into crafts or
solve a problem that is bothering them personally. He also believes
that we have developed our minds or intelligence as courtship devices.
Our oversized brains therefore are like plumage of the peacock's tail
or the lion's mane.
Obviously, a lot of women out there must be thinking that this idea is
probably true for men :-)
9. Being innovative can give one an
edge in status quo situations.
B. False Status quo means to maintain the situation
the way it is. Remember that innovation and intelligence is nature
answer to changing times.
10. Brainstorming works best when you
use a group of newly introduced
B. False Let's being with the idea that group
brainstorming doesn't generate ideas that are that good . Often what
you get is a sort of groupthink. The smaller the group the more like
you are to try off beat solutions. Second when people meet for the
first time they are either timid or cagey and don't want to show their
hand. Creativity needs confidence to work. Brainstorming is a fun way
for a group to get to know each other but don't expect to get top
flight ideas from newly assembled teams.
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