Is creativity a creation game or an import-export game?

I recently discovered this 2004 New York Times article on the work of Ronald Burt on the origin and delivery of good ideas.  I found the following argument particularly thought-provoking:

“Got a good idea? Now think for a moment where you got it. A sudden spark of inspiration? A memory? A dream?

Most likely, says Ronald S. Burt, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, it came from someone else who hadn’t realized how to use it.

”The usual image of creativity is that it’s some sort of genetic gift, some heroic act,” Mr. Burt said. ”But creativity is an import-export game. It’s not a creation game.”

Mr. Burt has spent most of his career studying how creative, competitive people relate to the rest of the world, and how ideas move from place to place. Often the value of a good idea, he has found, is not in its origin but in its delivery.”

Is creativity a creation game or an import-export game?

Is the value of a good idea in its origin or its delivery?

About Arie Goldshlager

Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, and Innovation Consultant
This entry was posted in Innovation, Social Networks. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is creativity a creation game or an import-export game?

  1. DjangoCaravan says:

    Begs the question: what, if anything, is a creation game?

    Reminds me of the quote:
    Good artists copy, great artists steal – Picasso

  2. Steve Jobs is a prime example of this too. He wasn’t the first, he was simply the most successful!

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