Creativity is often mislabeled as a mysterious force. The concept dates back to ancient history when poets and musicians were beholden to muses or gods for moments of creative brilliance. In today’s business world, the importance of generating a constant stream of new (not to mention good) ideas is too great to be left to fate. Fortunately, the creative process isn’t shrouded in mystery. According to Josh Linkner, author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity (now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary), executives and their teams can arrive at great ideas without resorting to incantations or ceremonies.
One key aspect of Linkner’s philosophy is that creativity should serve as a force of empowerment within an organization. This is counter to the classic concept of the “idea man” in a company. While it is understandable to assume that ideas come more naturally to some rather than others, a closer look may prove that the person rich in ideas is also diligently (if unknowingly) following many of the ideas about which Linkner writes. Executives need to understand the power that comes with making and maintaining a work environment in which people can be creative. It makes one’s office a workplace in which the next great idea can come from any direction.
Linkner also helps executives avoid the common, seductive trap of dismissing others’ ideas outright. Part of the reason employees hesitate to provide meaningful solutions is because they don’t feel as if their ideas count. Linkner provides numerous examples, including some memorable stories from his own company ePrize, that prove the old adage, “The mind, like a parachute, works better when open.”