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As Robert Grudin stated in the book The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation, "Creativity and innovation are concepts so dear to modern culture that their very mention excites immediate approval. . . . Yet we have shown comparatively little curiosity about the birth and growth of innovation—the ways in which creative impulse develops into path-finding achievement."60 Perhaps the reason we have been so nonchalant about innovation is because we have, at least until recently, enjoyed having so much of it. Although the psychological and other esoteric aspects of innovation and creativity are outside the scope of this chapter, we acknowledge that innovation and creativity are inextricably tied to every aspect of our existence, our minds (conscious and subconscious), our bodies, our governments and cultures, and everything else that affects our state of being. As Grudin states, creativity and freedom are "the most precious freedom[s] of all, the liberty implicit in the creation of ideas and new forms."61 His book courageously explores every path and topic in the quest for a true understanding of the sources of innovation and creativity, even daring to venture into the subconscious. In the end, he suggests that innovation and creativity can best be nurtured by cultivating a combination of habits and attitudes that form a mental innovation environment or what he calls a "garden of the mind."

Philosophers and thinkers have long recognized the complex nature of innovation and its inextricable connection to every part of our beings, as illustrated by Lorenzo de Medici (1449-1492), an Italian statesman, who, upon being chided by a friend for sleeping a little late, said, "what I have dreamed in one hour is worth more than what you have done in four."62 As organizations work to create and maintain cultures and environments that foster innovation, they should not only consider traditional approaches but also broaden their thinking to consider all aspects of their employees' lives and environment. Some of the most innovative organizations of our day seem to be doing just that. For example, Google describes their culture as "we still maintain a small company feel. At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office café, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams. Our commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. Every employee is a hands-on contributor, and everyone wears several hats. Because we believe that each Googler is an equally important part of our success, no one hesitates to pose questions directly to Larry (Page) or Sergey (Brin) . . . or spike a volleyball across the net at a corporate officer. . . . We are aggressively inclusive in our hiring, and we favor ability over experience . . . [we] share a commitment to creating search perfection and have a great time doing it."63 This description of Google's culture suggests that the company understands and appreciates the "garden of mind" concept suggested by Grudin and has established an environment and culture that nurtures innovation and creativity by paying attention to a wide spectrum of variables that affect the lives of their employees, not just salary and benefits.


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45. Mishra and Shah (2009).

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49. Ibid.

50. Ibid. pp. 155-156.

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56. Hunter, Bedell, and Mumford (2007).

57. Gumusluoglu and Ilsev (2009); Hunter, Bedell, and Mumford (2007).

58. Kao (1996), pp. 24-29.

59. Ibid.

60. Grudin, R. (1990). The Grace ofGreat Things. New York: Ticknor & Fields.

61. Ibid.

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63 . Google. (2011). The Google Culture. Retrieved November 4, 2011, from

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