All corporate CEOs, top executives, and other business leaders say they want creativity and need real innovation to thrive in a competitive world. But according to surprising research by former Wharton management professor Jennifer Mueller, the truth is that many business leaders chronically reject creative solutions and often embrace the familiar, even when professing a commitment to innovation. Mueller’s research also reveals that not just CEOs, but also educators, scientists, and many others who often struggle to accept new and creative ideas, even when they want to. Mueller discusses the tough questions these findings raise. Could people love but also hate creative ideas? Could the mindset we use to evaluate ideas turn this love or hate on or off in an instant? Do experts struggle even more than newbies with this bias? Even more surprising, could the “best practices” that organizations employ to manage innovation activate this bias and inadvertently kill innovation? Mueller diagnoses this hidden innovation barrier and provides solutions, including:
A four-step process (and a fifth lifeline) to self-disrupt your current mindset and acknowledge the creative opportunity; an idea presentation framework intended to help you overcome other people’s sticky preference for the status quo; key organizational levers to disrupt the cultural beliefs that hold your company back; tips for more accurately recognizing creative leaders who can guide organizations in new productive directions, and strategies for generating ideas without harming your ability to enlist decision-makers.
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