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Blog Post 2: Barriers to Creativity – Inertia

If it were easy, everybody would do it, right? But it isn’t, and they don’t. There must be some powerful reasons that keep us from doing what has been proven to be the most successful growth pattern.creative-thinking

Entrepreneur and author Steve Blank talks about one powerful force in his recent post, “Why Companies are Not Startups

The Enterprise: Business Model Execution

We know that a startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. The corollary for an enterprise is:

A company is a permanent organization designed to execute a repeatable and scalable business model.

Once you understand that existing companies are designed to execute then you can see why they have a hard time with continuous and disruptive innovation.

Every large company, whether it can articulate it or not, is executing a proven business model(s). A business model guides an organization to create and deliver products/service and make money from it. It describes the product/service, who is it for, what channel sells/deliver it, how demand is created, how does the company make money, etc.

Somewhere in the dim past of the company, it too was a startup searching for a business model. But now, as the business model is repeatable and scalable, most employees take the business model as a given, and instead focus on the execution of the model – what is it they are supposed to do every day when they come to work. They measure their success on metrics that reflect success in execution, and they reward execution.

In other words, we repeat what has always worked for us in the past. The institution enforces the “tried and proven” behavior pattern. The organization actually fights against innovation and change.

In a January 6, 2014 article, The Biases That Make Bosses Hate Creativity, on, author Drake Baer notes that while American’s prize creativity, research says we’re disposed to reject it.

The thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

“As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform” writes Jessica Olsen at Slate. The creative process signals uncertainty and introduces risk

“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.

This creates an unseen blinder: as the University of Pennsylvania has documented, while people prize new ideas, they reject them if they feel a motivation to reduce uncertainty.

More on this next time.




Blog Post 1: Do we really need Business creativity?

Hi, and welcome to the Florida Creativity Centers’ blog. We want to talk about Creativity in Business (and in non-profits, and government agencies, and of course, in education).


Our core message and theme is that Creativity is a SKILL that can be learned and can be consciously applied to produce intended results. It’s not an inborn talent that you either have or don’t have – EVERYBODY is creative in their own unique way!

So our aim is to create a community forum to showcase and discuss specific tools, practices, and attitudes that foster intentional creativity on demand.

Let’s begin with the foundation question: Do we need Creativity in business (and all the others listed above) today? Let’s see:

  • A 2010 IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the number one leadership competency of the future.
  • A 2012 Adobe study on creativity shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people believe they are living up to their own creative potential.
  • From the Harvard Business Blogs:
    • 12 May 2009: ‘It’s the single biggest error firms make in times of crisis: repeating the past. When the world around you is undergoing discontinuous change, repeating yesterday’s mistakes is the quickest path to decay and dissolution.’
    • 11 May 2009: ‘Today’s turbulent times make mastering innovation a competitive necessity.’
    • 8 April 2009: ‘Innovation has never been more important.’
  • According to John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design: “…intuition and creativity are fast becoming the only differentiating factors among competitors.”

In other words, “Duh!!!”

So let’s open the conversation.