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1. Explain the differences among creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • The entrepreneur’s “secret” for creating value in the marketplace is applying creativity and innovation to solve problems and to exploit opportunities that people face every day. Creativity is the ability to develop new ideas and to discover new ways of looking at problems and opportunities. Innovation is the ability to apply creative solutions to those problems and opportunities to enhance or to enrich people’s lives. Entrepreneurship is the result of a disciplined, systematic process of applying creativity and innovation to needs and opportunities in the marketplace.

    2. Describe why creativity and innovation are such an integral part of entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurs must always be on guard against paradigms--preconceived ideas of what the world is, what it should be like, and how it should operate--because they are logjams to creativity. Successful entrepreneurs often go beyond conventional wisdom as they ask “Why not ... ?”
  • Success--even survival--in this fiercely competitive, global environment requires entrepreneurs to tap their creativity (and that of their employees) constantly.

    3. Understand how the two hemispheres of the human brain function and what role they play in creativity.
  • For years, people assumed that creativity was an inherent trait. Today, however, we know better. Research shows that almost anyone can learn to be creative. The left hemisphere of the brain controls language, logic, and symbols, processing information in a step-by-step fashion. The right hemisphere handles emotional, intuitive, and spatial functions, processing information intuitively. The right side of the brain is the source of creativity and innovation. People can learn to control which side of the brain is dominant in a given situation.

    4. Explain the ten “mental locks” that limit individual creativity.
  • The number of potential barriers to creativity is limitless, but entrepreneurs commonly face ten “mental locks” on creativity: Searching for the one “right” answer; focusing on “being logical;” blindly following the rules; constantly being practical; viewing play as frivolous; becoming overly specialized; avoiding ambiguity; fearing looking foolish; fearing mistakes and failure; and believing that “I'm not creative.”

    5. Understand how entrepreneurs can enhance the creativity of their employees as well as their own creativity.
  • Entrepreneurs can stimulate creativity in their companies by: expecting creativity; expecting and tolerating failure; encouraging curiosity; viewing problems as challenges; providing creativity training; providing support; rewarding creativity; and modeling creativity.
  • Entrepreneurs can enhance their own creativity by using the following techniques: Allowing themselves to be creative; giving their minds fresh input every day; keeping a journal handy to record their thoughts and ideas; reading books on stimulating creativity or taking a class on creativity; taking some time off to relax.

    6. Describe the steps in the creative process.
  • The creative process consists of seven steps: Step 1. Preparation--involves getting the mind ready for creative thinking; Step 2. Investigation--requires the individual to develop a solid understanding of the problem or decision; Step 3. Transformation--involves viewing the similarities and the differences among the information collected; Step 4. Incubation--allows the subconscious mind to reflect on the information collected; Step 5. Illumination--occurs at some point during the incubation stage when a spontaneous breakthrough causes “the light bulb to go on;” Step 6. Verification--involves validating the idea as accurate and useful; and Step 7. Implementation--involves transforming the idea into a business reality,

    7. Discuss techniques for improving the creative process.
  • Three techniques that are especially useful for improving the creative process:
  • Brainstorming is a process in which a small group of people interact with very little structure with the goal of producing a large quantity of novel and imaginative ideas.
  • Mind-mapping is a graphical technique that encourages thinking on both sides of the brain, visually displays the various relationships among ideas, and improves the ability to view a problem from many sides.
  • Rapid prototyping is based on the premise that transforming an idea into an actual model will point out flaws in the original idea and will lead to improvements in its design.

    8. Describe the protection of intellectual property involving patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
  • A patent is a grant from the federal government that gives an inventor exclusive rights to an invention for 20 years.
  • A trademark is any distinctive word, symbol, or trade dress that a company uses to identify its product and to distinguish it from other goods. It serves as a company's “signature” in the marketplace.
  • A copyright protects original works of authorship. It covers only the form in which an idea is expressed and not the idea itself and lasts for 70 years beyond the creator's death.

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