Creativity as a process: The importance of being creative as a product person

Listen to the full episode here

After a bit of a summer break… we’re very happy to share the next episode of the Clearly Product Book Club Podcast. For Episode 8, we chat about David and Tom Kelley’s book Creative Confidence. In this book, the IDEO cofounders (and brothers!) share their hard-earned experiences, tactics, and general philosophy on ‘creativity’.

While the tech and startup worlds clearly sit on the ‘bleeding edge’ of most industries, organizational practices, and implementations of technology itself, ‘creativity’ is still a bit of a taboo word. Part of the reason (imho) is that it’s not necessarily well defined, and the methods by which you can be creative or increase your level of creativity are chalked up to raw talent, and not explored as skills that can be learned or improved.

Both Anna Marie and myself really enjoyed this book, and we dove into some interesting points:

  • What is the balance between experimenting and being creative vs. doing things that are a bit too ‘out there’?
  • How do you encourage people to think creatively on your team, when often times a roles are defined by and rewarded for consistency, which is often the antithesis to being creative?
  • The authors highlight ‘self-efficacy’ as a key attribute with respect to creativity. What does that mean when it comes to working in tech and building product? What is the relationship between self-efficacy and autonomy? How do you you enable people to act with these qualities in-mind, without having the entire org or product spin off into infinite tangents?

We share some examples of how we’ve navigated related issues in our roles, and highlight some of the suggested tactics from the authors that we think are most appropriate to tech companies and startups. We hope you enjoy our chat, and feel free to comment below after listening with any follow-up questions or comments.

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