Innovation or just narcissism?

Thomas Frank bemoans the lack of creativity among gurus of… creativity:

we’re talking about the literature of creativity  for Pete’s sake. If there is a non-fiction genre from which you have a right to expect clever prose and uncanny insight it should be this one. So why is it so utterly consumed by formula and repetition?

And his conclusion really touches a nerve for me:

Consider, then, the narrative daisy chain that makes up the literature of creativity. It is the story of brilliant people, often in the arts or humanities, who are studied by other brilliant people, often in the sciences, finance, or marketing. The readership is made up of us — members of the professional-managerial class — each of whom harbors a powerful suspicion that he or she is pretty brilliant as well. What your correspondent realized, relaxing there in his tub one day, was that the real subject of this literature was the professional-managerial audience itself, whose members hear clear, sweet reason when they listen to NPR and think they’re in the presence of something profound when they watch some billionaire give a TED talk

I have long felt uncomfortable with narcissism of a lot of the innovation business. Frank puts his finger on the power game that gets played out in the name of creativity or innovation.

 

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