“The Moses Myth” Undermines Your Confidence as an Innovator


In the Moses Myth, innovation is a miracle when a special person raises their hands to God, the Red Sea is parted or the iPhone is born.

“Pick your own utopian outcome. The message is the same,” says Dr. Jeanne Liedtka, a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

This myth has people believe that innovation takes a special gift, “one that most of us just don’t have,” she says.

Author of Solving Problems with Design Thinking, Liedtka says it is like most myths: Not true.

While there are creative geniuses around — Steve Jobs was one, after all — they are not the only path to innovation.

Meanwhile, waiting to stumble across a Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs the next time you flick through applicants’ resumes not only defers innovation.

“Believing the Moses Myth undermines managers’ confidence in their own abilities,” Liedtka says.

Image from 1956 movie The Ten Commandments. May be subject to copyright.