Creativity and innovation are the cornerstones of competitiveness in business.  Richard Florida, author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” believes that we’re in the early stages of a movement from an industrial economy to a “creative economy,” with creative people in a wide variety of fields providing a growing stimulus for economic growth.

This article explores the ways in which companies can tap the creativity within their workforce and actively encourage the innovations that result in competitive advantage.  There seems little doubt that employees are ready to participate – recent surveys have found that 30% of respondents would take less salary from a company that valued their creative input, with 1 in five saying they would move to a different city to work for such a company.

The author shows readers the innovative new ways that companies like Starbucks, Whole Foods and the Gillette Company foster creativity and promote relationship-building.  The growing contribution of women and entrepreneurship are touched on, and the article ends with an interesting take on the ways by which companies inadvertently stifle innovation.

Source: Marilyn Gardner, The Christian Science Monitor (Boston); Oct 15, 2007

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