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Understand the Nature of Creativity — and Success

Steven Dubner

Big Think

Posted: Jan 21, 2016

There’s an irony in trying to get people to do their best work—but particularly to try new things and to innovate—in that very often the kind of characteristics that are common to someone who will have a good new idea have no overlap with the characteristics that are common to someone who’s really good at presenting in meetings. So it’s kind of like the difference between like sales and R&D, right? So the people that are in your sales or marketing division in a company are very different kinds of person than the people you have in R&D or something else like that.


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Creativity happens. It cannot be programmed. It cannot be summoned. It cannot be commandeered. It exists. It ferments within the mind creating new [neural] connections between abstractions combining into new solutions or suppositions or hypothesis. It does need a little inner push. The will to dominate the creative process itself. And it cannot be arranged to appear to order. The inner dialectic either works for the creative types or it doesn't. No self help book is of use. The greatest minds did what they did and that was that.

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