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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hiring the Genius Within-Novelty and Analysis

How do you know if you are hiring a genius or just a really smart person? According to a paper in Educational leadership geniuses have two important traits that include novelty and analysis when trying to understanding complex ideas (Goodwin & Miller, 2013). Before you offer a big salary to your next job candidate consider the long-term potential of the employee.

Highly creative people think a little differently. They explore all the possible outcomes using divergent thinking and then prune those ideas back to the most reasonable possibilities. Some of these possibilities become good targets for systematic analysis. Both novelty and analysis create higher levels of exploratory knowledge that can be converted into practical results.

While they are exploring ideas they may seem a little like a mad scientist jumping from idea to idea as they consider possible outcomes but this is a necessary step. Each idea connects to each other in a free flowing analysis where the rules yet don't apply. Many of these ideas are searched and explored to create possibilities.

Exploring ideas requires not having any consideration to the right or wrong answers.

This is why geniuses have a hard time giving simple answers when there are other possibilities. Simple questions might have multiple answers and this could leave some scratching their head. That same annoying trait is also what makes them genius and why people like Einstein and Newton were considered idiots.

In today's society the unconventional answer is a sure path to a poor grade.

Once they have a few good ideas a few will get selected for analysis. In this case they spend their time researching and digging into the fine details. They will eventually reach the limits of research and make leaps that become profound breakthroughs. Those companies that gain from breakthroughs can find themselves leaping to the forefront of an industry.

Creative and scientific breakthroughs requires in depth research and study.

Not all geniuses will perform under all circumstances. They need the right type of environment and something to focus on. If they don't have a focus they will bounce around looking for different things of interest. Their efforts aren't as funneled into productive pursuits that will reap financial rewards. Because geniuses are internally motivated money is helpful, recognition is wonderful, but there must be an established interest in the work.


Goodwin, B. & Miller, K. (2013). Creativity requires a mix of skills. Educational Leadership, 70 (5).

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