Creativity is NOT enough


Term Test 1: (M.McNamara)Number of pages:  (includes title page)
Course: Applications of Creativity & InnovationNumber of students:
Due Date of Test: See below

Take Home Test

Number of hours: N/A
Instructor: M. McNamara


  1. This take-home test is to be completed individually.  As an open book test, students may (and are advised to) consult with their textbook, lectures, course notes, and other materials in order to formulate their responses.


  1. The test MUST be returned by Friday, Oct. 21 at 11:59pm via the SLATE dropbox folder (entitled “Term Test 1”); early submissions prior to this date are fine and welcomed.


  1. Test Format: Students may prepare their responses in one of the following formats (choose one):
  1. Written submission: A word document, inclusive of a title page (with a word count) with the responses presented in the pages that follow. Please format your document as a double-spaced, Times New Roman Font 12pnt font.  I am NOT specifying a word count although student should recognize that the development a comprehensive response capable of achieving a good grade will likely require an effort that will be reflected, in part, in the quantity of the submission (in addition to its’ quality)
  2. Video Submission: A video submission (creative entries encouraged). Please note that I am NOT specifying a video length requirements.  Students should recognize that the development a comprehensive response capable of achieving a good grade will likely require an effort that will be reflected, in part, in both the quantity and quality of the submission (not just in its’ creativity).  If video files are too large to make it into the SLATE box… please create/submit the link so that I can view the file.
  3. Some other creative hybrid: As discussed, I’m also open to receiving mind-maps, open-letters, photo essays, etc… with the caveat that whatever you submit MUST clearly demonstrate an understanding of key course concepts and material (see grading criteria below)


  1. Weekly debrief and my continued availability: I am available through email if you have any questions although please note that I CANNOT give you any insights on the content of your response.  Also, we will be holding our regularly scheduled debriefs.


  1. Grading Criteria;  Your response will be evaluated out of 100 possible marks according to the following criteria (sorry, I know criteria based evaluation kills creativity):
  1. Demonstrated Knowledge of the Scientific Literature (65%): Has the student demonstrated a robust understanding of the scientific/course material that pertains to the given question?
  2. Development of A Clear/Comprehensive/Robust Position (35%): Has the student woven together a coherent, complex position on the chosen question?


To the extent that your answers reflect these elements, I distilled numerical grades as:

  • 90 and above scores are reserved for those responses that significantly exceed cohort performances and expectations;
  • 85 to 90 denotes a very strong performance usually position in the upper percentile of the cohort;
  • 80 to 85 denotes a solid entry that firmly satisfies my performance expectations for knowledge demonstration;
  • 70-80 typically denotes my assessment that most of the knowledge associated with the question has been demonstrated and yet some pieces may be either underdeveloped, unclear or missing.
  • 70-60 grades are applied when critical pieces of the course learnings associated with the question are missing or incorrect;
  • Below 60 denotes a response that fails to meet the requirements for the response.





We’ve spent the first part of our course exploring the idea that: “Creativity is NOT enough!”- or perhaps more precisely stated, when it comes to our understanding of how ‘creative outcomes’ come about- “the study of creativity itself is NOT enough”.  With that mantra, we’ve turned our attention to the study of ‘innovation’: what it is, how it is different from creativity, why it seems to be the more difficult part of the ‘creativity-innovation process’, as well as the very important role innovation plays in the life-cycle of economies (Creative Destruction, Disruptive Innovation, and the Innovator’s Dilemma) as well as the trajectory of human history and human achievement more broadly (the BOS, etc.,)  With this in mind (and with reference to texts listed below), please respond to the following:  Tell me what you’ve learned thus far?  What do we gain when we shift our analytic attention to the ‘innovator”… as opposed to just the ‘idea generator’?


Tip: Don’t get overwhelmed by this rather ‘big’ question.  Remember, as a test, the primary learning you want to demonstrate is a robust understanding of the scientific/course material that pertains to this very broad question.  If you’re really stuck, try creating a bullet point list of all the key concepts, theories, points we’ve looked at to date… and then see how you might build those into your response.  You won’t be able to get at ever little detail we’ve covered (nor do I want you to do so).  Rather, you’re going have select from this list that things you’d like to discuss in further detail.


Be sure to include references (and citations) to these course readings when developing your response:

  1. Fessier “You’re no genius”: Her Father’s shutdowns made Angela Duckworth a world expert on Grit”; Available at:
  2. H. Dyer, H.B . Gregersen, and C.M. Christensen (2009). “Spotlight on Innovation: The Innovator’s DNA.” HBR.

Wan Kwong Weng (2009).  Commentary: Are you Creating A Blue Ocean?  Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development.  Vol. 19 (2).  (On SLATE)

And of course… anything from our lecture discussions!!!