The myth of the tortured innovator

by Marty Neumeier

by Marty Neumeier

Lots of great material in this latest book, The Rules of Genius: An innovator's guide to creativity by Marty Neumeier.  

> The book's link:  

> Marty's Medium link. 

Rule #32 is one of my favourites: SPEND LONG HOURS IN THE JOY ZONE.

An excerpt: "When your work contains an element of joy, you learn faster. This is called "ludic" learning, or learning by playing. [...] When you're happy, you're more creative. When you're unhappy, you lose access to your intuition. Happiness and creativity are mutually supportive. [...] Ludic learning is often the doorway to genius."

> Deeper dives on this topic by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi on Flow and Creativity.



Rounding up some media that inspired me in recent weeks ... I'm going to try to do this on a semi-regular basis. Here we go:

Not sure why I haven't been reading everything Michael Lewis has ever written?!! The recent pieces about his book on Wall Street's recent trading shenanigans, Flash Boys, has lead me to read his 2001 book, The New New Thing, (as well as a suggestion by my friend, Danelle Greebe). It's a great examination of the Internet explosion's impact on business models, valuations, and the gambling mentality that is just now beginning to wane in the tech world. All seen through an entertaining ethnographic examination of Jim Clark, founder of SGI & Netscape.  
BOOK ON Amazon:

Shawn Achor visits Google to discuss his most recent book, Before Happiness. In his last book, Shawn described why happiness is the precursor to success. Here, Shawn explains that before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible.
VIDEO AT Google Talk :

From one of the world's leading data scientists, a landmark tour of the new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence.
VIDEO AT Google Talk:

Debbie Millman, one of my heroes, about actively creating your life. She's so heart-breakingly honest about her early choices in her education and career, self-loathing, and what she's learned about life. 
ARTICLE & VIDEO AT Brain Pickings:

"I’m a big proponent of “busy is a decision.” You decide what you want to do and the things that are important to you. And you don’t find the time to do things — you make the time to do things. And if you aren’t doing them because you’re “too busy,” it’s likely not as much of a priority as what you’re actually doing." - Debbie Millman

Show (Your Talent), Don't Tell

There's a classic marketing phrase, "Show, Don't Tell," which reminds practitioners to demonstrate their product's benefits to consumers (vs. simply claiming the benefit with a passive description). In a similar manner, finding an effective and fair way for your organization's potential hires to "show" their talent (before they join your organization) is something that crowdsourcing can help with. 

In the April 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, the article "Auditions Are the Best Way to Hire" profiles the CEO of Automattic (the company behind Wordpress), Matt Mullenweg, and his advice on building a strong team. They found that the typical interview and résumé screening process was still yielding too many new hires that didn't work out. They needed to see how potential teammates performed and meshed with current employees, so they now do "tryouts" or auditions.

"The more we thought about why some hires succeeded and some didn’t, the more we recognized that there is no substitute for working alongside someone in the trenches." - Matt Mullenweg, HBR Magazine

Advanced open innovation crowdsourcing platforms offer this same opportunity for participants to demonstrate their talents in a variety of interesting online activities, contests and programs. Creative innovation challenges can be designed within a persistent crowdsourcing community to allow companies to observe the crowd's behavioural trends and understand whether a participant is most comfortable in the role of (for example) an idea generator, a social connector, a leader, a follower, a mentor, or even a lurker. By observing the participation of participants over time, with different styles of challenges presented, emergent data trends can offer up valuable information that can help uncover hidden talent in an employee population, filter out creativity naysayers in a supply chain, or source trendsetters in a global customer community. Talent is revealed and confirmed over time.

HBR Magazine, April 2014

HBR Magazine, April 2014

Quality & Quirkiness over Quantity

"Have you tried Quora yet?"

When I ask this question at conferences or other industry events (often in response to a question about social media preferences), "What's Quora?" is the most frequent response I get. When I share that it's like those annoying Q&A websites that often pop up when you're searching for an answer - except Quora isn't annoying - people are almost always intrigued.

Quora is a free, quality Q&A social platform that is lightly curated and managed to help create a good user experience for those who join in. It also emphasizes transparency around identity, which helps limit the trolls.

Interested in learning more about topics such as Crowdsourcing? or Open Innovation?
Chatting with the Product Manager for Google Consumer Surveys?
Keen on learning a Jedi's approach to Time Management?
Or reading those quirky stories of people randomly meeting Steve Jobs?
Maybe just want to share some memorable movie quotes?

Here's a Forbes article profiling Quora's slow and steady approach to growth. They've been around for five years and I consistently find useful information and intriguing contributors when I visit. Quora isn't about the quantity of "up votes"; it's about the unique quality of the contributors and their contributions.

Think about how you or your organization could contribute to Quora by sharing your expertise in a specific field. You might be surprised who is answering questions on any given day.