Reflections on Innovation

According to Rowley, companies and institutions for the most part understand the value of innovation.Evans and Alire designates innovation as one of the key traits which distinguishes leaders from managers. External factors such as competition and the regular emergence of new technology require a surplus of creative thinking for a company that wants to survive in such an environment. The importance of innovation does not seem to be in question.The issue is working out ways to encourage innovative thinking, which is made difficult by the lack of a definition for innovation.

Looking at how innovative thinking has dealt with various issues may help to clarify its meaning. Innovation is often a response to developing technologies. One local example would be the development of UCD’s special collections digital library, which contains materials such as photographs of iconic Georgian buildings and historical maps. Technology such as digitization allows these rare and fragile materials to be easily accessed by students and with no risk of damage to the materials themselves. Innovations such as the addition of bilingual collections to libraries in response to increasing diversity of an environment are a non-technological example.

I found the analysis of creativity in Rowling to be the most interesting part of the reading. I was fascinated by the outlining of the stages of the creative process as they are stages I recognize going through when I try to come up with ideas. I was also interested in the division of creativity into “divergent” and “convergent” thinking and the mental skills associated with them. I think my own personal type of creativity is “divergent thinking” as I’m generally more imaginative than logical. I think I am better at generating new ideas than I am at evaluating them and my critical thinking skills could use some development.

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