Rotman Management Rotman Management Leader's Digest Issue: Creativity

Published in January, May and September by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Rotman Management explores themes of interest to leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Each issue features thought-provoking insights and problem-solving tools from leading global researchers and management practitioners. The magazine reflects Rotman’s role as a catalyst for transformative thinking that creates value for business and society.

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
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3 Numeri

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1 min

Creativity has become the defining feature of early 21st century economic life, powering the great ongoing changes of our time. However, this shift presents a huge challenge for organizations, because until recently, creativity has not been explicitly valued in business. As the global economy continues to morph into an economy bound only by the limits of human talent and imagination, the organizations who figure out how to foster and manage creativity will have a crucial advantage. In our second Leader’s Digest collection, we present popular articles that bring together various aspects of Creativity and show what leaders can do to enable more of it in the workplace. Rotman Management Leader’s Digests are themed collections of both classic and recent articles from Rotman Management magazine, written by the world’s leading management scholars and practitioners.…

12 min
beyond the numbers

BUILDING YOUR QUALITATIVE INTELLIGENCE WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT IS PREOCCUPIED with predictability and enraptured with quantitative analysis. In the realm of business, the evidence is clear: forecasters crank out precise predictions of economic growth using massive econometric models, and CEOs give to-the-penny guidance to capital markets on the next quarter’s predicted earnings. In the world of healthcare, geneticists sequence the human genome and predict the elimination of numerous diseases. In our day-to-day lives, we are governed by adages like “Show me the numbers” and “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count.” Where has this obsession gotten us? Not far, I would argue; the economists, for one, have gotten it consistently wrong. As late as the middle of 2008, none of the world’s leading macroeconomists or forecasting organizations were predicting…

13 min
creative confidence: the path from blank page to insight

WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD ‘CREATIVITY’, what do you think of next? If you are like many people, your mind immediately leaps to artistic endeavours like sculpture, drawing, music or dance. You may believe that architects and designers are paid to be creative thinkers, but CEOs, lawyers and doctors are not. Or you may feel that being creative is a fixed trait, like having brown eyes — either you’re born with creative genes or you’re not. As brothers who have worked together for 30 years at the forefront of innovation, we have come to see this set of misconceptions as ‘the creativity myth.’ Our latest book — Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All — is about the opposite of that myth: it’s about what we call ‘creative confidence’.…

15 min
possibility thinking

Engineers have long viewed design as a core activity. Managers would be wise to turn to them for creative inspiration. BUSINESS STRATEGISTS TEND to be well-versed in the identification and analysis of constraints. But what of possibilities? If the ability to see new possibilities is fundamental to creating innovative designs — whether of products, cities or business strategies — what do we know about state-of-the-art possibility thinking? Not much, it seems. Business strategy has historically been seen as a largely analytic endeavour, with relatively little attention paid to the creative aspects of strategy formulation. In this article, we will describe eight ways to illuminate new possibilities taken from Engineering success stories and discuss what each might look like if applied to business strategy. 1. Challenge Assumptions Challenging assumptions and defying convention are often the…

9 min
q &a

You have closely studied the thinking processes of great thinkers such as Leonardo da Vinci. What can we learn from his example? Not surprisingly, da Vinci is a supreme role model for creative thinking. Considered perhaps the greatest genius who ever lived, he was not only a pioneer in Biology, Botany, Geology and Anatomy, but is renowned as one of the greatest fine artists ever, in part because he integrated scientific and artistic ways of thinking. There are other great scientists who have had some artistic ability, and there are great artists who’ve dabbled in Science, but no one has integrated the two as thoroughly as da Vinci. For me, he was a childhood hero, and the more I learned about him, the more he seemed to embody the very essence of…

15 min
creativity, improvisation and organizations

AS THE 21ST CENTURY UNFOLDS, lone creators of new ideas are increasingly rare, as teams and larger groups within organizations become the dominant mode through which progress is made in much of the world. Appropriately, management scholars have been turning their attention to organizational creativity in recent years. Research on creativity began in the psychological domain, with the traditional view of the creative process stemming from Graham Wallas’s seminal work The Art of Thought. In it, he proposed four distinct stages of creativity: 1. Preparation, in which the problem to be solved is detected, and relevant data are identified; 2. Incubation, in which the problem is ‘left alone’ for a time while the unconscious mind works on it; 3. Illumination, in which the idea or solution suddenly appears; and 4. Verification, in which the idea…