Monday, February 19, 2007

Creativity & Innovation

Recently, I took a workshop called "Creativity & Innovation."

Companies tend to choose people who are similar to them and who think like them. We largely dislike conflict and challenge and think that it is unproductive and slows down the business process.

In groups where we've challenged and argued with each other, while simultaneously respecting each other's opinions, I gained new colleagues that I could respect and value. And whom respect and value me.

Creativity is the child's mind, or in Buddha's terms, the "monkey mind." This is the mind that thinks without censorship. Innovation is creativity translated into action.

I found that this can be a very powerful tool when people are able to combine the "whole company brain." Apple, Inc. is a famous example of this. If Apple hadn't gone beyond computers and hadn't created the iPod today, Apple wouldn't be the status symbol that it is today.

Google is another example. It revolutionized search. It gave us word document sharing, satellite-style mapping and the ability to apply Google search on our own websites.

Now, this is the product of putting many "monkey minds" to work.

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