Posted on September 8, 2010 by Scott Noppe-Brandon
I’ve written on many occasions about the need for imagination, creativity, and innovation (ICI) in business, even going so far as to call the first item on that list America’s “greatest domestic renewable resource” (in the book, Imagination First, co-authored with Eric Liu, page 26). But don’t take my word for it: according to IBM’s fourth biennial Global CEO Study—for which IBM consultants interviewed over 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries—business leaders around the globe “believe that … successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity” more than anything else. (Read the press release here.) While 80% of those surveyed think their environment will soon become even more volatile and complex than it is today, only 49% are confident that their organizations are prepared to respond to such growth, the inevitable result of industry transformation and modern technology. This gap between present capabilities and future demands explains why, in the words of IBM Global Business Services Senior Vice President Frank Kern, “CEOs identify creativity as the number one leadership competency of the successful enterprise of the future.” I should also mention that one of the points made by the CEOs—“Creative leaders are comfortable with ambiguity”—mirrors one of Lincoln Center Institute’s ten Capacities for Imaginative Learning, “Living with Ambiguity.” Indeed, it’s crucial in all areas of life to understand that problems may have more than one solution and that finding solutions may take time. The similarity between the CEOs’ thinking and ours is a fresh reminder that the world of ICI is a small one!
Image provided by IBM.
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Posted on August 4, 2010 by Scott Noppe-Brandon
Image by Miles Gehm*
The title of a recent article by Kellie B. Gormly in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is also one of our guiding principles here at Lincoln Center Institute: “The arts ignite children’s creativity, innovation, and imagination.” Eric Liu and I argue in Imagination First that the order of these concepts is: imagination → creativity → innovation. In this sequence, each prompts the other. But no matter what order they’re listed in, it’s always encouraging to see them appear in an educational context. Gormly’s piece is a concise and accessible look at the role of the arts in the development of young people.
Sarah Tambucci, director of the Arts Education Collaborative, points out in the article that, in addition to making them more culturally sophisticated, “Arts also teach children that problems can have more than one solution … and questions can have more than one answer. The arts help our children … celebrate multiple perspectives.” This view is in sync with two of LCI’s Capacities for Imaginative Learning: Living with Ambiguity and Exhibiting Empathy. In our world—an increasingly complex world—situations may be successfully resolved in different ways and at different speeds, and individuals are bound to approach things differently, based on their unique backgrounds and experiences. This is mirrored in LCI’s guided explorations of artworks, which enable children, who are often forced to think in terms of “right” and “wrong,” to understand that the truth—or should I say “truths”—may lie beyond those limitations.
Gormly acknowledges that, while many struggling American school districts are shrinking arts education programs, this trend, fortunately, has not reached Western Pennsylvania. Kudos to schools in that region for recognizing the value of the arts!
*There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image.
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