My friend Michael posted on Facebook: I’m feeling sad today, because I’m already one of those people who works his butt off and doesn’t do much of anything to be creative, innovative or out-reaching. How did I stray from the ideals so quickly?

My response: I think most of our institutions are designed (or have evolved) precisely into places where creativity and innovation are squashed. It isn’t deliberate in the sense of some evil dictator trying to keep us down, but it *is* deliberate in the sense that we create institutions to be stable. That means, to do the same thing day in and day out. We scope the jobs, workload, and responsibilities around just enough to get things done the way they’re currently done. When was the last time a job description included, “Four hours a week to be spent day-dreaming, engaging in creative flights of fancy, and redesigning how things work?” (Well ok, Google has a similar policy, but who else?)

What do you think?

Do we create our institutions to stifle creativity…

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