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Creative Strategy: A Guide for Innovation -- William Duggan

Creative Strategy: A Guide for Innovation -- William Duggan

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Published by: Columbia University Press on Nov 20, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Tis book is a practical guide to a big idea about innovation. It’s an ideawith roots in modern neuroscience, classical military strategy, and Asianphilosophy, and it’s played a part in countless cases o creative innovation inbusiness and other elds. Over the past decade, I've explained the idea in aseries o books and articles, and I've taught the idea to thousands o gradu-ate students and executives in courses at Columbia Business School andin sessions at companies around the world. Tis book oers a method toapply the idea, in a orm that any innovator can learn and use, without any advanced training in business or economics or any other technical eld.All you need is a passion or ideas and a desire to put them into action orpersonal and proessional ulllment. You can use this method as an indi- vidual, in a team, or throughout your organization.Te idea is
creative strategy 
. It solves the problem o innovation, not just or designing new products but or coming up with creative ideas orstrategy at any level: the overall company, a division, a team, or just your-sel. It applies to businesses, government agencies, nonprots, and yourown career and personal development. In all kinds o strategy, you alwaysneed a creative idea to some degree because the world around you is alwayschanging, so the uture is never exactly the same as the past. Your strategy must change to keep up with the times. But how should it change, exactly?
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Tere are two kinds o traditional methods that claim to yield creativeideas or strategy: methods o creativity and methods o strategy. You willsee that neither set o traditional methods actually solves the problem.Methods o strategy show you how to analyze your strategic situation, butthat’s where they stop. Tey don’t give you the next step, how to get a cre-ative idea or what to do. Methods o creativity show you how to comeup with lots o creative ideas, but they don’t connect those ideas to yourstrategy. So you end up doing lots o strategic analysis rst, and then gointo a room to brainstorm creative ideas. Tere is no connection betweenthe two methods.Tis common sequence—ormal analysis, then creative brainstorming—actually comes rom an old theory o how the brain works. You’ve probably heard this: the le side o the brain is analytical, and the right side is cre-ative. So rst you do your analysis (le side) and then let your creativity (right side) take over. Unortunately, this is not how the brain really works.In the past ten years, neuroscience has overturned that old model o thebrain. We now know that analysis and creativity are not two dierentunctions on two dierent sides o the brain. In the new model—called
—analysis and creativity work together in all modeso thought. You cannot have an idea without both.Te new science o learning-and-memory reveals at last how creativeideas orm in the mind. When you do something yoursel or learn whatsomeone else did, those details go into your memory. When you ace a new situation, your brain breaks down the problem into pieces and then searchesthrough your brain or memories that t each piece. It then makes a new combination rom those pieces o memory. Te combination is new, but theelements are not. Tese three steps—break it down, search, combine—are very dierent rom the two conventional steps o analyze and brainstorm.Creative strategy puts the three steps o learning-and-memory or new situ-ations into a practical method that ts how the human brain actually works.Part I o this book oers a step-by-step guide to the practice o cre-ative strategy. It begins with a picture o how the brain puts creative ideastogether, and then shows how that translates into a ormal method or in-novation. As you proceed through Part I, you will see that each creativestrategy step diers in key ways rom traditional methods o strategy, cre-ativity, and innovation. At various points I pause to explain the dierencesto keep the distinctions clear.Part II goes into these traditional methods in greater depth to help youalter or depart rom them to make room or creative strategy. For example,
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