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A successful organization needs creativity at its core to thrive. In his new book Too Fast to Think, Chris Lewis examines some of the business obstacles to workplace creativity, to understand how to overcome them.
Over the last two decades, the pace of information has sped up rapidly. Volume and speed of information have grown exponentially thanks to ubiquitous internet access. Exceptional advances in portable technology have democratized access. Meanwhile, the blurring of international as well as social borders has opened up access to more information and opportunities.
Such an accelerated change has had a knock-on effect on how organizations respond and deal. Prioritizing what to respond to and how is an important point of structural judgement. It's also an opportunity to ensure the workforce is not overwhelmed. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, ring-fencing spare capacity to enable creative development to flourish is essential. Building a corporate structure to ensure it happens is largely something that relies on experience, gut feeling and learning from the successes and failures of others.
This month sees the launch of Too Fast to Think, the new book by LEWIS founder and CEO Chris Lewis. In it he explores the challenges and opportunities when nurturing creativity and building a better work culture.
Many of the challenges we face in nurturing creativity come from technology and the abundance of knowledge and input it brings. However, there is more to it than just software, hardware and services. Consider the impact of education and cultural adoption on how we embrace, prioritize and cope with the changing environment.
As anyone who has worked with or otherwise been involved in technology will tell you, the pace of technological change far outweighs the capacity for education and society to match it. Habits and cultural norms are the effective late adopters in the process of technology advancement. This is why we won’t all be in driverless cars from day one. It is also why step changes in technology like the iPhone, digital television and Uber were not overnight sensations. People needed time to assimilate these major changes, as they need time to assimilate any other form of information input and opportunity.
It took some time for people to come round to these ideas, things that were very different from the established norm. It took hands-on education, critical review, peer experience and a gradual cultural acceptance to make these the new norm and to initiate a major societal shift.
The strategic importance of creative time is something that that business leaders such as Paul Holmes, CEO of The Holmes Group talk about in the book. Holmes makes the point that argument and debate are core to creativity. “The creative process is argumentative, even if it’s just with yourself,” he explained.
However, even with a perfect storm of talent, creativity, confidence and determination, along with the right systems, processes and a nurturing environment, you still need one other critical component to be successful in business. Luck!
It's luck that so often gets you the opportunities. Creativity and amazing people allow luck to be capitalized on and transformed into success.
Too Fast to Think by Chris Lewis is published by Kogan Page. It is available on Amazon.