New Colors!

September 20th, 2012

Think you’re creative? Daresay an innovator even? Well what IS creativity, and where does it come from?

Today’s post is from Michael Figueroa an Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

Here’s a quick and telling experiment for you to try: Close your eyes, and imagine a NEW color. Not a new shade or combination of an existing color, invent in your mind a completely new (primary) color. Have you invented your new color yet?

Most likely, you did not succeed. Why do you think that is? Here’s the part most people don’t like to hear: Human beings are NOT creative, in the sense of being able to create new ideas from nothing. ALL creativity originates with INPUT.

For example, no one was ever capable of writing music before hearing notes. No one could ever design a building without being able to observe shapes. We can’t write a novel without having observed bits and pieces of the concepts written about. We can’t imagine the flavor of a spice without ever having tasted it. Everything we “create” is just a piecing together of inputs/information we have collected through our 5 senses.

This concept has profound and far reaching implications for our creativity and innovation efforts! One of which is that We don’t know what we don’t know. We can’t assume that if we think about something long enough, we’ll spontaneously generate new information. Yet we treat our businesses this way all the time. Innovation initiatives encourage employees to sit in their gray, sterile cubes all day and come up with something brilliant. We assume we know the best answer because we thought about it for a while, instead of because we researched and experimented with it. We surround ourselves with people who think like us, instead of learning from a diversity of thought.

What we should be asking ourselves, is “am I and my organization receiving the inputs we need to be innovative”? There are many strategies for obtaining and utilizing your inputs toward innovative ends, we’ll cover some of those in future posts. But if there are aspects to the products and services you use where you “don’t know what you don’t know”, give us a call at SafeSourcing, and let’s discuss how our research and knowledge base can help your organization innovate its procurement strategy.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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