Understanding Innovation: How Does Innovation Feel?

By Paul T. Skaggs and Geoff Wright.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 26, 2016 $US5.00

Can anyone learn to be more innovative? Innovation may not be a matter of learning but of unlearning. We have in us an instinctive drive designed to push us to learn and experience important principles of innovation, things like; curiosity, discovery, exploration, experimentation, communicating, and socializing (Elkind 2008). This instinctive drive is called play. Decades of research has shown play to be crucial to the development of these skills. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where people initiate their own games and even invent their own rules (Elkind 2008). Children are intrinsically motivated to play and they learn at tremendous rates in their formative years. (Bowler 1997) Then at an early age efforts are made to try and control their natural tendencies and inclinations for learning and communicate to them that it is time to stop playing and start working, it is time for school. It is time to control those physical urges and sit still, it is time for learning a set of rules, and it is time to stop talking to your neighbor. Not to say that the principles of work are unimportant but they can work hand-in-hand with play to create a fairly accurate model for innovation. It is time to push back and provide opportunities for unlearning those things that limit our creativity and relearn those important attributes gained through principles of play.

Keywords: Innovation, Creativity, Curiosity, Play, Design Thinking, Collaboration

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 10, Issue 2, June, 2016, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 26, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 684.186KB)).

Paul T. Skaggs

Program Chair, Industrial Design, College of Engineering and Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA

Dr. Geoff Wright

Professor, Committee Chair, College of Engineering and Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA