MIT’s Blade Kotelly on Innovation – and How it Can be Mastered by All

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Do you need to be a creative person in order to innovate?

Being highly creative is helpful but it is not necessary in order to innovate. Part of the reason many people think innovation in an inborn, unteachable quality is they confuse innovation with creativity. While these terms are somewhat related, they’re not the same, and the distinction is important.

There are ways to maximize your creative skills and many techniques to channel creativity, but I don’t see people actually becoming more creative. Innovation, on the other hand, is about harnessing a set of tools that enable you to discover new ideas and get the highest possible value out of them. Creativity helps with some of the steps in an innovation process, to make connections that others don’t see. But much of the process is centered around a rigorous analysis — an analysis that you can get better at by practicing.

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