Eckert, Claudia and Stacey, M. K.
Fortune favours only the prepared mind: Why sources of inspiration are essential for continuing creativity.
Creativity and Innovation Management, 7(1),
Intellectual health like physical health depends on a balance between feeding and exercise. But the demands of work often make a healthy balance very hard to maintain. In a detailed study of the knitwear industry and in comparisons with other design fields, we have observed that designers use external sources of ideas for a variety of different purposes throughout the design process. We have also observed that designers' creative potential is often limited by the failure of managers to understand design, and especially their designers' need to search for sources of new ideas. Managing design processes to maximize creative output requires both an understanding of the role of sources of ideas in the creative process, and proactive management to support and encourage the renewal of intellectual resources. In this paper we suggest some practical steps for supporting continuing creativity.
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