Creativity and Innovation – What’s Missing?

In all the buzz on innovation and creativity, what I find most missing is the “Experience” factor. Not in the user-experience, but the past experiences of a person. How they may have failed, or succeeded. How one may have learnt a valuable lesson that is brought into a new field. This is where experience can also be a barrier to great creativity and innovation.

Underneath experience is probably the attitude and perspective of the person. These two act like a frame by which the person can frame his experience in a beneficial or regrettable manner. Deeply based on mental models, a person infers data and leads him/her self to a conclusion and beliefs as they climb the ladder of inference.

Experience also can suggest having to climb up the ranks of a particular career or mastery of a skill or topic. In motivational studies, the need for mastery is innate in most of us. Many people fail to master their domain before embarking on another.

So perhaps we may admire the young and inexperienced for their naive and pure imagination and creativity, but we have to respect how experience can be used to identify practical and useful innovations.

This is where the leader must have a mix of experienced people and young, idealistic people, both of which are able to be open in their mind, heart and will to be able to begin innovation.


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