One of the pressing issues of the day is the need for more Creativity and Innovation. In his book A Whole New Mind, Dan PInk cites three causes: automation, offshoring and commoditisation as necessitating western economies to out-create, out-smart and out-design intensifying competition from Asia.
But we all know that creativity cannot be forced or "turned on" by command. The role of business and community leaders is therefore to create the conditions whereby people can dream, play, innovate, experiment and transform their worlds.
Ginger writes in her book, Re-Visioning the Way We Work (see reading list in sidebar):
"...to provide a corporate support structure that is innovative and open to expansion is no less an artistic act than the creation of a symphony or a body of literature."
We intend for this blog to explore the conditions and circumstances whereby creativity can flourish in the corporate world. Very different cultures than currently exist in the majority of enterprises will be needed. First of all, the work place has to be safe and encourage the sharing of unformed and evolving ideas. Recently I watched an enthusiastic Head of IT share some vision and ideas in a meeting with field staff in order to get their feedback, while one VP was lodging a compaint to his boss via Blackberry suggesting that this form of openness should be curtailed until the Board had approved his ideas!
Which also begs the question - how will we encourage creativity when most meeting participants are not engaged. If you want a productive session, ban the Blackberries for the duration of the meeting!