Over hundreds of projects, engagements and residencies, the quality that seems to suggest success in new acts of creation has not been a fixed process, but rather a vulnerability and openness to other ideas, experiences and approaches.
To create is human. Our understanding of organizational life has marginalized the creative energy of far too many by investing the right to create in the hands of a narrow cadre of senior leaders and eccentric ideators. Soichiro Honda had no formal education and moved away from home at the age of 15 to begin an apprenticeship in Tokyo. When asked later in life about why he founded his motorcycle company, Honda said that he happened on the idea of fitting an engine to a bicycle because he had become fed up with riding on crowded trains and buses.
The stories we construct about organizations and businesses fall victim to a similar tendency to summarize and filter information to suit a particular narrative. Too much leadership and innovation literature offers easy answers to extremely complicated problems. We all want to be the heroes of Gladwell's stories and 'blink' to know what to do. Thousands flock to hear Jim Collins speak about some theoretical bulls-eye that marries passion, economics, and mastery. The idea of the hedgehog concept is a particularly pernicious cognitive shorthand that has found homes in far too many boardrooms and consultancy reception areas.