Friday, April 01, 2016

Of Creativity and Priorities

Harvard Business School professor, Teresa Amabile, has an interesting take on creativity. In her research, discussed in her HBR article Recognizing and Shaping Opportunities, she has come to the conclusion that creativity is made up of three intersecting components: Expertise, Motivation, and Creative-Thinking Skills.

Expertise includes experiences, education, and knowledge.

Motivation refers to both internal passion and interests, and to external rewards.

Creative-thinking skills include the way people approach and solve problems and put existing ideas together in new combinations.

Amabile says that these three components help frame how entrepreneurs recognize opportunities.

This was exciting to me because the main reason I have felt I’m NOT an entrepreneur is that I don’t have ideas. The concept that I can use my expertise, internal passions, and problem solving abilities to recognize opportunities, is exciting. There is hope for me yet!

Something that really stood out to me this week was the case study we read of Randy Haykin, in which he discusses the difficulty of being an entrepreneur and having quality time for your family. Haykin said that mentors (plural, so more than one person) told him that “it is impossible to start a company and have a family that still loves you in the process.” That is kind of a bleak outlook. 

“I always felt that if all success means is an unhappy family or a divorce situation or kids that can’t relate to you, then what is the purpose of having gone through this? Balancing work and family has been a real challenge, but I think the most rewarding part.”

-         Randy Haykin

So it is possible, and rewarding, and extremely difficult. Knowing that at the beginning and having ethical guardrails in place can help.

I am excited to experience some of the entrepreneurial creativity spoken of and grateful to have my ethical guardrails already in place when it happens.

Recognizing and Shaping Opportunities, Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business Review

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