An American Management Association survey of 500 CEOs shows
two surprising things:
Asked to name the most important
factor for corporate survival in the 21st century, the majority of
CEOs rank creativity and innovation first.
Yet only 6% of CEOs consider
that their own company performs very well in creativity and innovation!
In other words, 94% felt their company could really improve their
performance in this area.
This difference between high-perceived value and low actual performance can
be called the "Creativity Gap" (C.G.). Obviously - at 94% - the C.G. is
Of course it is surprising - and gratifying - to see
that creativity is no longer dismissed as a "frill", and that a
majority of CEOs are now "talking the talk" about the importance of
creativity and innovation.
But what can be done in order to "walk the walk"? Moving past
the "buzzword" stage to develop real competency in creativity and
innovation offers a major competitive advantage.
To increase their operating I.Q. (Innovation Quotient), there are three
necessary (and complementary) activities that organizations should
perform as deliberate policy:
Train people in the skills of creative
thinking, at all levels and functions of the organization.
Our training programs prove that creativity is a skill that can be
Manage for innovation.
Develop an environment that encourages, develops, and rewards creativity.
Mine, refine and implement creative ideas. Invest in a process to develop
selected ideas into innovative strategies, processes, and products.
Reap the payoff for innovation, and re-invest in creativity.