"Creative People Must Be Stopped"


In his book, Creative People Must Be Stopped: 6 Ways We Kill Innovation (Without Even Trying), author and Vanderbilt professor David A. Owens discusses six constraints to innovation: individuals, groups, organizations, industries, society, and technology.

Individuals must have great ideas. Groups must be on board and not allow negative emotions to derail the innovation process. An organization's structure and strategy must support risk-taking and new initiatives, rather than be bound to routine, consistent outputs. Industries must be shown the utility and value for a new disruption in order to abandon the status quo. Innovations must be presented to society in acceptable terms that are in line with norms and values. Finally, technology takes significant time, resources, and expertise to be proven effective and reliable. 

As our world becomes more interconnected and we gain power in new places and mediums, the combination of these constraints also gets more complex and can exert power over a greater distance and larger audience. 

His advice for innovators? Acknowledge the presence and power of these constraints. Then overcome them. 

Don't try to compete with an industry that has existed for 50 years by  going toe to toe, inadvertently giving strength to their strengths. Come in with a new cost structure; take a holistic view of systems and organizations; and don't be afraid to question authority. He also says that while the limited money in the world lends itself to incremental innovation, it is still very much possible to be disruptive because the big guys are all looking at each other. Many of us focus on innovation as technology, but Owens argues that the technology is usually just in service of an idea. The idea must come first. 

Dream. Execute. Disrupt.

Check out his book for more.