How do you get your creative idea recognised?

As members of the Ingenuity network will know, one of our key aims is to make University of Nottingham research accessible to the local business community. Our latest breakfast event welcomed Rachael Lamb, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation to share her research on how creative ideas are recognised and gain legitimacy in business.

Rachael’s shared insights from her research on creativity and how it is used in both small businesses and large enterprises. She outlined three essential elements which make up a creative idea, one being recognition. Feeling that our ideas have been recognised is very important, as research shows that a lack of recognition can affect our wellbeing and affect our ability to generate more creative ideas in the future. However, humans are unreliable at recognising ideas and therefore the subjective recognition of creativity causes us problems.

Rachael’s research has shown that there are many cognitive, social and contextual biases present that are just starting to be examined.  There are social norms for just about everything we do, dictated by what we perceive is ‘proper’ and ‘valid’. This means that even if people believe an idea to be a good one, they may reject it if they feel others do not, as the pressure we feel to comply with social norms and rules is significant.

Rachael said that a creative idea must be novel and useful for it to be successful. Mark Runco summed this up as: “Originality is vital, but must be balanced with fit and appropriateness”. However research shows that there is a certain threshold of usefulness which a product/service needs to reach before whether it is more or less novel comes into play. Novel ideas stand out more but useful ideas appeal to more people.

Rachael also shared Robert Sternberg’s theory of how promoting an idea in the business world is similar to selling shares in the stock market; buy low and sell high. We are trying to find an opportunity which not many people have thought about and meet it with a creative product. Sometimes we may have to win over early adopters until we reach a tipping point of mass consumers and sometimes it might just be a runaway success. Rachael stressed how important it is to build your individual trust and credibility with others by increasing your networks.

Rachael finished the morning by leaving the audience with three key takeaway points;

  • Creative products, services and solutions depend on being recognised by others.
  • This is influenced by time, place and social interaction
  • The latter can be influenced by you!

Delegates praised the session for “offering good food for thought”, being “interesting and challenging” and a “morning of fascinating content”.

Our next breakfast event will take place on Tuesday 12th March 2019 and will be on the theme of Authenticity in Buisness with Dr Isobel O’Neil and Debbie Clark. Don’t miss out, sign up here!