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According to latest research, people say they want creative ideas, but then reject anything that is presented.

The reasons why include:

  • Creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable.
  • People dismiss creative ideas in favor of ideas that are purely practical — tried and true.
  • Objective evidence shoring up the validity of a creative proposal does not motivate people to accept it.
  • Anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are unaware of it, which can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea.

This, I suspect, is because the ideas being presented are not tied back to concepts that the audience is familar with.  These could be stated business rules, or subtle company values.   If something seems quite foreign, then it will be rejected out of hand, regardless of its creative merits.

One of the interesting findings, which I’ve heard before, is that statistical evidence ‘proving’ the value of the idea doesn’t actually help.  It’s got to be provided with an emotional ‘hook’, that appeals to the basic needs of the audience.

Although demonstrating how this will contribute to the bottom line seems like an obvious move, there may be other company values that will interfere with this measurement, so identifying the company values and explaining how this idea is strategically aligned with them will carry more weight than simple financial metrics.


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