John Howkins in his book, The Creative Economy, talks about creativity in respect to business. Below are entirely his points on creativity. I’ll recommend you to get your copy of the book here.

Characteristics of Creative People.

  • Open-mindedness
  • Independence of mind — Rule breakers not rule makers.
  • Not being afraid of change (the blank sheet of paper test)
  • Well developed sense of humor.

Who he’s not busy being born is busy dying

Innovation is a new product or process that can exactly repeated by anyone.

Creativity is personal and subjective and cannot be exactly repeated even by the creator.

Creativity by itself has no economic value until it takes shape, means something and is embodied in a product that can be traded.

The Creative Circle





Reality checks

Review — Taking stoke of things, noticing what is curious, making connections, asking “What is that?” and “why?”

Incubation — Letting ideas to sort out themselves. Recognize when incubation is necessary and have sufficient resources of time, money or whatever is needed to provide it.

Dreams — Allowing mind to be open to outside influences and unknown energies. “Not all those who wander are lost” — J. R. R Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings.

Excitement — Adrenaline that powers intuitive jumps and half-calculated sideways movements, letting the mind loose to ask “What if…” without wandering whether the answer is sensible or crazy.

Reality checks — Ensures that the dreams and intuitions have not taken us too far away. Analyze and measure where we are, checking back to the problem and investigating the answers on offer.

Someone who wants ready-made process, who waits for the whistle , who waits to be told told, will create nothing. John Howkins in his book The Creative Economy

People who enjoy themselves are not only happier but they achieve more, faster ~John Howkins.

Serious Play

  1. Have fun
  2. Always have a problem at the back of your mind
  3. Don’t skip lunch

The Quad

  1. Change and diversity — Happens when we are aware or not, and we have a little control over it.
  2. Learning and adaptation

Education is about doing something to unnamed people while learning is about what we do to ourselves.

Management Levers

The Thinker

The just-in-time thinker

The creative entrepreneur

Characteristics of the creative entrepreneurs

Vision. The dream, and the desire to turn that dream into reality.

Focus. Entrepreneurs are fixated on success. Gary Kasparov — “Difference between a good chess player and a great chess player is really not that great chess player knows which move to look at but he know which not to look at”.

Finance. Financial skills assist one to avoid pitfalls, move faster and sleep at night. Entrepreneurs are comfortable with risk not in the sense of liking it but in the sense of not being afraid of it.

Pride. Entrepreneurs believe not only that their idea will work but that they are the only one to make it work. Their pride is seldom dented by failure and many serial entrepreneurs regard even failure as campaign medals.

Urgency — Entrepreneurs always want to “do it now” partly for competitive reasons but mostly because they cannot be bothered to think of anything else.


Creative people need creative people next door to hasten success on the current project and to test ideas for the next one. Their conversations and negotiations, both competitive and collaborative, help people to generate a common sense of what is wanted and what could be done. Best practice is seen as a bare minimum because the aim is not to be good as others but better than others. John Howkins

Get close to the trees when the apples start to fall. Keep close to businesses which generate high levels of cash and avoid sectors with low margins and too many people chasing too few projects.

10 Rules for Success

  1. Invent yourself. Create a unique cluster of personal talents. Own your image. Manage it. Build momentum. Leave school early, if you want, but never stop learning. If you get bored, do something else.
  2. Put priority on ideas, not data. Train your own imagination. Understand patents, copyrights, trademarks and other ways of to protect and also to allow access to ideas.
  3. Be nomadic. Nomads are at home in every country. Creatives need both solitude and the crowd, thinking alone and working together.
  4. Define yourself with your own [thinking] activities not by the job title somebody else has given you. If you are working for company X on project Y, it is more interesting to say you are working on project Y at company X.
  5. Learn endlessly. Be curious. Borrow. Innovate. Electric Power ad: “A new idea is often two old ideas meeting for the first time”.
  6. Exploit fame and celebrity.
  7. Treat the virtual as real and vice versa.
  8. Be kind.
  9. Admire success openly. “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts” people probably loses most of the time. Creative people are the strictest judge of their own successes and failures because they want to learn from them. The worst is depression, not recession. You will never win if you cannot lose.
  10. Be very ambitious. Boldly go.
  11. Have fun. Dance as if no one is looking. Stop testing and start experimenting. Albert Einstein: if a is success in life then a = x + y +z, when x is hard work, y is fun and z is keeping your mouth shut. Don’t worry having eleven rules instead of ten rules, because you can always break your own rules. #Rule_Number_1

Text falls under copyright, industrial process falls under patent laws and company name falls within trademark laws.

Important skills for would-be designers

  1. Creative problem solving.
  2. 2-D concept sketching.
  3. verbal and written communication.
  4. Processing of materials and manufactures.
  5. Software skills.

Technology without design is going nowhere.

Creativity depends not only on thinking new thoughts but on doing something about it and turning what is desirable into what is possible; in other words, treating ideas as assets.

Creativity happens when we have an idea, our own or someone else’s, add our personal value to it, and make something new and original.

A society that stifles or misuses its creative assets cannot prosper but if we understand and manage our creative economy successfully, individuals benefit and society is rewarded. Seeing creativity as a universal human quality , and the beginnings of a process of learning and adaptation, is the first step.



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