Challenging Old Ideas About Innovation

Here’s another good read from our Design Public Bibliography (pdf):

In How Aha! Really Happens (pdf), William Duggan takes a critical look at the innovation strategies of modern companies and winds up dissecting our ideas about the source of creativity, the value of brainstorming, the notions of the right and left brain, and even the most sacrosanct bastion of innovation, Google:

How do companies innovate? Look at Google Inc., widely admired as a great innovator. The company offers toys in the lobby, beanbag chairs, game rooms, and time for employees to work on ideas of their own. Isn’t that what other companies should do too?

The answer is no. These Google methods are derived from an inaccurate theory of creativity: that people need to turn off their analytical left brain and turn on their creative right brain to produce new ideas. In fact, the Google founders did not come up with the original idea for Google itself by using these methods. Instead, they applied a very different method, one that follows a more plausible theory of how the brain produces creative ideas. Unfortunately, Google is just one of countless companies whose methods for innovation are woefully out of date.

strategy+business – How Aha! Really Happens (pdf)

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