Is the glass half full or half empty?

If you succeed at something, does that mean that someone else needs to lose?

Often in innovation we will use phrases like “winner takes all”, “taking customers” or “stealing market share”.

These suggest that there is a limited supply of value in the market, and if you get some of it, it means that you are taking it away from someone else and they are therefore in a worse position that before.

This is what is known as a scarcity mindset.

While there is not a lot of research into this subject yet, one study of neuroimaging results suggest that a scarcity mindset affects neural mechanisms for goal-directed decision making, and that the effects of scarcity are largest when they are compared with previous situations when resources were abundant.

A classic example of someone with a scarcity mindset is someone who is afraid of developing or even sharing their ideas, in case someone “steals” their idea, makes a lot of money and the person with the idea ends of getting nothing.

While there are certain situations where only one person or team can win (like in sports), in most cases it is possible for multiple people to win.

The opposite of a scarcity mindset is an abundance mindset, where you believe that there is not only more than enough value to go around for the people trying to access it, there is more additional value constantly being created so everyone can benefit.

There is also a link between having an abundance mindset and a growth mindset.

We have previously seen that people with a growth mindset find it easier to try new things, are willing to fail, but also to learn new things. They see more opportunities available in the future for them to access, even if they cannot fully reach them yet.

However, people with a scarcity mindset may be more afraid that they do not have the ability to access new things in the future, and therefore may be more afraid of losing what they already have.

It is therefore clear that developing an abundance mindset and a growth mindset can help you develop your creativity and overcome the hurdles that you will undoubtedly experience when trying to develop a new innovation.

It is ok to step out of your comfort zone. It will help you be more creative. And there are more than enough opportunities and value for everyone who is willing to go for them.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.