AMSTERDAM — Many executives see creativity as the most important factor for future success in employees, according to Adobe chief strategist Mark Randall. ”It’s rated higher than integrity and global thinking,” he told an audience at The Next Web CxO Summit here.
But do executives really value creativity? And if they do, how can they bring it out.
“Creativity tends to be rather unpredictable, it tends to be surrounded by uncertainty and in most large companies, uncertainty is not a good career option,” Mr. Randall said. ”Mangers understand that innovation is the key. The challenge is that the people who do that are not the easiest people to manage. When it comes to what they value and what they prioritize when the quarterly grind comes in, well …”
Creativity may be an inherited trait, but Mr. Randall believes it’s possible to increase it.
“Take brainstorming,” he said. “There is plenty of research that shows brainstorming isn’t very effective.” Instead what he suggests is that managers should let people work on their own, what he coins “solo-storming.”
“Define the problem, have people work out ideas by themselves. You take them and put them together in a small group,” he said.
This is the key, he says: Don’t use the normal brainstorming process of not having any evaluation. “It turns out the process of evaluation and critical review, that is one of the key values. That is why the ‘solo-stormers’ generate about double the results of traditional brainstorming.”
He accepts that while collaborative working can always tweak things, true innovation can be the result of one person and their great idea. “There is a profound difference between a good idea and a great idea: the difference between an Apple Newton and an Apple iPad.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal