Monday, December 08, 2008

Is Yours an Anti-Innovation Culture?

Really interesting post from Walter Derzko on how businesses hire really talented people, but bring them into an anti-innovation culture. Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening as colleges and universities. Too often, it seems, senior college administrators try to place rigid boundaries on innovation or program innovation, resulting in frustration and stifled creativity. Derzko gives some really great guidance on how businesses and by extension colleges and universities can increase the proportion of creative class workers. I really love that term! Although problem solving skills remain important, Derzko refers to these as hindsight skills and suggests we begin looking for workers with forward-looking anticipatory skills. Among these, he highlights:
  • sense-making,
  • opportunity recognition, and
  • lateral and critical thinking.
I really love this list and will post more thoughts on each later in the week. Smart Economy: Spotting in-house innovators and helping them flourish- Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts
The current issue of Harvard Business Review has an article called How to spot innovators and help them flourish (hat tip to Gray Hammond for alerting us)

Corporate America bemoans a lack of innovative talent, but it methodically smothers creative spark, say the leadership consultants who wrote this paper. "Even when stellar external talent comes in, it is frequently drawn into the same anti-innovation culture that has been squelching internal talent," they write. Their research at Reuters, Pitney Bowes, Visa and other companies that foster creativity well suggests ways to identify true innovators and nurture their genius

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