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Where Did All the Innovation and Creativity Go?

June 23, 2010

During challenging economic times, companies tend to avoid risks and stick to what they know.   This results in discouraging innovation and creativity which actually fuel growth (do you have a source to support that?) in the long run. How do we get back on track to greater creativity and innovation?

In an article published by the Harvard Business Review titled Innovation: Who Else is Doing it?, Rosabeth Kanter states that risks and mistakes are keys to developing innovation. Companies have to understand that not every idea will be great, but they have to tolerate ideas and mistakes in order to encourage a few good ideas to grow.

Just remember that ideas come in all shapes and sizes and from a variety of people. Whether they fit the profile or not should not matter as long as the idea is a solid one. Look at the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego. It’s known as the first building with an elevator on its exterior. This idea was first proposed by a bellboy. It had never been done before and was a very risky idea, but it was an incredible innovation.

This all just demonstrates the importance of taking risks. These risks may be pricy or come from people who may not have the expertise as others do, but when an innovative idea is brought forth, it should at least be taken into consideration. Not to say that ideas that are presented should have millions in investments, but executives need to be open minded to ideas that come from all kinds of sources. Being open minded ensures that innovative ideas will flourish.

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