’’Creative confidence’’ was published in 2013 by the founders of d.school – David and Tom Kelley. I first encountered the book when I was doing a post-graduate course at HPI School of Design Thinking at Potsdam, where being curious and living in the moment were highly appreciated as a part of the mindset of innovation. It was a truly inspirational experience, but what made it tangible and impactful was the implementation of my first user-centered innovation project. In this short post I would like to discuss the journey every individual and organization has to undergo in order to become an innovator.
Going back to our creative roots
David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, discussed in their book ‘Creative Confidence’ that we are all born creative. Creativity is an attitude and bravery to try something new, to ask offbeat questions, to draw a hat and call it elephant. However, over time, because of formal education, organizational culture, we restrict those impulses and instead become more cautious, more analytical and start dividing the world between ‘creatives’ and ‘noncreatives’. In their book, the Kelleys aim at guiding people in rediscovering their creative confidence – their natural ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out. They came with few guiding principles for every innovation process: defer judgment, embrace the unknown, get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid of the first step. Those principles shape the working environment at every truly innovative company.