There are a number of nice nuggets in this interview of Scott Berkun on his book, The Myths of Innovation.
People who earn the label “creative” are really just people who come up with more combinations of ideas, find interesting ones faster, and are willing to try them out.
Which leads me to believe that creativity can be taught. Some people may be more naturally gifted at those skills, but skills can be taught, and more importantly learned.
Experience with real people trumps expert analysis much of the time. Innovation is a practice—a set of habits—and it involves making lots of mistakes and being willing to learn from them.
Again, our Innovation by Design programme puts user research right at the heart of the process. Real value is found by talking to the real experts. Your users. It is about applying a set of new habits, as well as opening your mind to new perspectives and approaches to work. I’ve seen the look on faces in our workshops that say, “You want me to do that with one of my customers? You must be crazy.” No, not crazy, just willing to try a new approach, possibly “fail early in order to succeed sooner” and gain some key insights from your users.