Insights for Leaders

The Secret of Creativity

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 | 0 Comments

“Creativity is just connecting things.” — Steve Jobs

King Solomon, recognized as the wisest and wealthiest man of the ancient world, observed: There is nothing new under the sun.” Although we think of inventors as dreaming up breakthroughs out of thin air, even the most far-fetched concepts are usually new combinations of what already exists. For example, Apple did not invent the MP3 or tablet computers — the company just made them better, adding design features that were new to the product category.

The history of innovation bears out this theory.  The Wright Brothers transferred their background as bicycle manufacturers to the invention of the airplane; their first plane was, in many respects, a bicycle with wings.  Johannes Gutenberg transformed his knowledge of wine presses into a printing machine capable of mass-producing words. Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with their famous search algorithm by applying the ranking method used for academic articles to the the Internet.

The Bottom Line: Leaders understand the secret of creativity — innovate by connecting ideas that already exist.