Thursday, May 20, 2010

Innovation Leadership Characteristic: Creativity

“I found it interesting yesterday to see that IBM's Institute for Business Value, a think tank and research organization, has surveyed CEOs of major corporations to try to understand the key characteristics that leaders will need in the near future.  I guess I should be more specific - I didn't think it was interesting that they asked 1500 CEOs about the important attributes and skills necessary for future leaders to possess.  I found it interesting that the number one skill they recommended was "creativity".”

This is the opening paragraph of a piece by Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation.  I recommend the full piece here:

It makes me think of my first ever post on this blog, The Troll Bridge (Find it in my archive, Wednesday, December 9th, 2009.).  Somebody help me out.  I don’t get it.  Corporate leaders identify creativity as a key leadership characteristic.  Yet, as Phillips says, “Mention creativity in most corporate environments and eyes roll so dramatically you'll be concerned that someone could actually lose one.  An eye that is.  Creativity isn't just scoffed at in most organizations - it isn't even considered a topic of polite conversation.”  What are these people afraid of?  Try bringing it up in a school, especially one where getting kids into top colleges is an imperative.  The kids who will be our “leaders.”  You’ll get a polite nod, and then a reminder that the kids really need and want another science course over an arts course, because college is SO competitive these days.  And here I am still, “preaching that when the times get tough, the tough ought to get to playing.”

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