Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coming up with ideas

In Chapter 17, innovation and creativity are discussed. It is explained how new products and ideas are used to create other innovative products and ideas. In order fot this to occur, there has to be good organizational structure (good managers, workers, teams, etc.) that are open to taking on challenges and brainstorming together for answers and creative ideas. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Just like it is difficult to simply sit down and start writing a 10 page paper, ideas do not just pop into a person's head overnight. I've been told that if you think of a problem and then sleep on it, by morning you'll have an answer. This doesn't often work. In order to come to a solution, communication is necessary.

As the article, "No Ideas, You're Not Alone" says, "Thomas Edison didn't work alone. The invention of the light bulb was the work of an entire lab team; it was one of his assistants who came up with the idea of screwing the bulbs into sockets instead of just mounting them straight up. Same goes for J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote his Lord of the Rings novels at the same time C. S. Lewis was creating The Chronicles of Narnia. Both authors generated ideas for their stories in a weekly literary group of Oxford scholars called the Inklings. Charles Darwin's work on evolution wasn't dreamed up in a vacuum, either: While doing his research, he was corresponding with dozens of scientists across Europe." In other words, our traditional idea of genius is not well grounded. Oftentimes, companies still think that people can single-handedly invent something and solve a problem. Well, they can't. They may come up with a good idea now and then, but the end product of this idea is the result of other's input and continuous trial and error. This is why some companies are starting to let their employees have more freedom in organizing their teams. Sometimes, they know best how to do their jobs and without a manager imposing a structure upon them, they are able to use their knowledge to improve their system. When there is good base organization within a firm, the whole company profits and innovation is able to occur.


Ewers, Justin, and E. J. "No Ideas? You're Not Alone." U.S. News & World Report 142.22 (2007): 50-52. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2010.

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