New Year! New Ideas?

December 26, 2012 by Bill Bradley


Title: Killing Ideas Softly

Competencies: innovation, creativity

Who benefits: creative people, managerial hierarchy

Consultant Usage: if you consult around issues of creativity or innovation, this is a must read; should be integrated into management development programs at any level

What’s it about? The year is almost over.  Creative minds turn to thinking about next year.  Is 2013 the year you will have the “Next Great Idea”?  Good luck with that!

If you really, really think you are a creative person with a great idea waiting to happen, you darn well better read Creative People Must Be Stopped: 6 Ways We Kill Innovation (Without Even Trying). This is a riveting, remarkable, readable book with amazing ideas on how to stop the Creative Killers (even the one in the mirror).

Author and Vanderbilt professor David Owens asks this vital question from his book introduction: “Why do so many organizations continue to kill good ideas and to fail in their innovation attempts despite (a) wealth of research and advice?”

The book explains the six dominant types of Creative Killers that Owens says “can keep creative new ideas from being formulated, developed into marketable products and services, or adopted by the intended users.”  He has identified the constraints as individual, group, organizational, industry-wide, societal, and/or technological.

Besides the comprehensive research and down-to-earth examples, the book is highly practical.  Each chapter ends with a “Constraints Analysis Assessment” to help the reader analyze his/her own organization.  Good stuff.

If that isn’t enough, Professor Owens has a terrific website.  He has two videos very worthy of a watch.  The first is a cartoon(doodles) with great musical accompaniment (4:30).  The second is a straight forward and excellent interview with Professor Owens.  If you don’t have time for the book, you get a great summary in the 6 minute video.

And if you still want more, he has a section in his website with a list of 32 other folks’ books (and one sneaky video) that are synchronized with the chapters in his book (clever).  If you are serious about innovation or are a consultant in the field, you don’t want to miss this section.

And if you still want even more, check out his short “Innovation Constraints Assessment” and find out where you and your organization stand on creativity.  The results also come with recommendations.  Not bad for a 5 minute investment of your time.

Finally, as to why you should read the book, let my good friend (actually I have never met him, his wonderful books and Blog make me feel like a friend) Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor and highly read author (The No Asshole Rule; Good Boss, Bad Boss) gives you his endorsement:

“Creative People Must Be Stopped is among the best books ever written about human imagination in the workplace. David Owens is a master innovator, having practiced his craft as a product designer, researcher, teacher, creativity coach, and executive.  The breadth and depth of his experience fills every page of this little gem, which is chock full of hundreds of big and little steps that you can take right now to do more creative work and to lead more innovative teams and organizations.”

So if that doesn’t grab you, don’t expect 2013 to be any different than 2012!

Catch you next year.

Bill Bradley (mostly) retired after 35 years in organizational consulting, training and management development. During those years he worked internally with seven organizations and trained and consulted externally with more than 90 large and small businesses, government agencies, hospitals and schools.

Posted in Leadership Development

If You Enjoyed This Post...

You'll love getting updates when we post new articles on leadership development, 360 degree feedback and behavior change. Enter your email below to get a free copy of our book and get notified of new posts:

  1. This is among the best posts you have ever written. I got a book card for Hanukah and I will use it for this.
    Thanks…hope you had a meaningful Xmas and also that 2013 is a happy, healthy year for you.

Follow Envisia Learning:

RSS Twitter linkedin Facebook

Are You Implementing a Leadership Development Program?

Call us to discuss how we can help you get more out of your leadership development program:

(800) 335-0779, x1