Welcome back. In Module 2a, we are going to talk about innovation and creativity. Some people will ask - is creativity really essential in China? They have this question because they probably have seen a lot of so-called ‘copycat’ in China. I think it is true that in the early days where China was just beginning … embarking on innovation, I mean, Internet and a lot of other technology. We are still learning and in a way copying from many many Western ideas. However, fast forward to modern days. Now, we are leapfrogging in many many areas. In the old days, yes, it is true that there are things that seemingly we borrow ideas from Western world and it works in China as well. But with a exploding population of Internet users, mobile phone users, this is no longer true. Now, we have many many mobile technology which are actually leading the world. So, what is creativity? Well, if we look at again the textbook definition, creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas. It is the ability to transcend something traditional or traditional ideas, rules or patterns and we create meaningful new ideas, in a new form, new methods and new interpretation. So, it has to become something new and something original. But, what is actually stopping our creativity? Well, again education has a lot to do it. The more we get educated, somehow, we become less creative. I think the reasons are we become more, maybe, thick-skinned, with fear of rejection. What if my idea is not good enough? What if someone laugh at my idea? What if someone think I'm crazy? Maybe our working environment is not very favorable for being creative. Because, again, being creative means we have to take risk. So, what if we don't have a safe environment to fail? What do I mean by having a safe to fail environment? Imagine, an employee who is trying to improve a product, a service or a process. Now, he or she may need to apply something out of the box. Something creative. But, there is a chance where it will fail. As a good boss, I will praise the employee even when he or she fails. Why? Because if we don't praise the employee for trying to be innovative, when they are truly trying to improve something, then the employee will get very discouraged and they will never try again. So, we should praise the employee not just for their success but also even when they fail; we should praise for their effort because they try to innovate. This is what I mean by having a safe to fail environment. But, under two conditions. 1. The employee must be truly trying to improve something. No. 2: the employee is not taking too much risk - not... no not reckless risk. If the two conditions are met, I think we should praise the employee even when they fail. So, another reason why people would stop being creative is - we do have a tendency to just follow the rules. It is very comfortable - just to repeat what someone else has done. Maybe creativity for some people is not fun. Maybe some people only use their left brain which is for the analytics. Maybe someone only value good and big ideas; they don't value the small ideas. They always want to wait until they have the next big thing. So, these are all the reasons why people stop being creative. However, I want to stress that creativity can only get us so far. Creativity may give us the initial idea how we can start a new business, a new idea and so on. At some point, reality will kick in. When that happens, we have to apply our left brain as well. So, for a successful company, we need a good balance between creativity and analytical. Only when we have both sorted out, then we will have a truly viable idea.