Myths of Creativity

In an article titled ‘Myths of Creativity’, Burkus (2014, 107) raises the question of why society has created a mythical divide between so called creative and non-creative individuals. He continues to state that creativity is not limited to any “particular personality type, nor is it controlled by our genetic code” (Burkus, 2014, p. 107). The author remarks that nothing has ever been created by a single individual alone. Cross (2006, p. 22) supports the notion that creativity or design is not associated with one type of individual. Cross states that “that design ability is a multi-faceted cognitive skill, possessed in some degree by everyone” (Cross, 2006, p. 22). A similar view is presented by the authors Leifer, Meinel, and Plattner (2011, 3) “Most outsiders see design as an applied art, as having to do with aesthetics, unlike a solid profession unto itself, with technical knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to rely on”.

With the rapid uptake of design thinking, the availability of numerous models and recognised concerns regarding failure of implementation there has been an increase in negativity towards implementing design thinking along with some questioning the ability of design thinking to still provide a competitive advantage. For these reasons, it is important for us to undertake more in depth research focussed on not only the overall model structures, but also less obvious factors that may be contributing to the increase rate of rejection. Examples of such factors is maturity, mindset and culture. During the research, many more will be identified and added to the data collected. Decline in organisations implementing design thinking processes may be due to lack of appropriate training, poor definition of problems or change of leadership. Without further research this cannot be confirmed, and design thinking may be the unfortunate victim of its own success.

There are several factors (Attitude, Ability, Action and Outcome) that may have an affect not only on data collected, but currently add to the reasons behind organisations choosing to either embrace or reject design thinking. Design thinking steps follow a progression of thought and actions as follows: empathise with the users affected by the problem, clearly define the problem, ideate, create a prototype and finally test it.

Who is Tim Brown?

Tim Brown, the most cited author on design thinking is attributed with using the term ‘design thinking’ in 2003. Tim Brown is CEO and President of IDEO. He frequently speaks about the value of design thinking and innovation to business people and designers around the world. He participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his talks Serious Play and Change by Design appear on

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