(here at the Willow Creek GLS to learn about leadership for Operation Christmas Child)
How about creativity and leadership. Of course I think creativity is important but it matters what you think so let me ask you some questions. Raise your hand if you agree—
--Being creative is important in your job
--How many of you think you are creative
--How many of you think your company is doing enough to develop the creativity of its employees
I’ve asked these more than 2,000 times so let’s see how we compare. 98% say yes to question #1; 45% say they are creative—there are huge cultural differences here – 60-80% in western Europe; North Americans say 95%; Singapore and Japan are 20%; lowest level of creative confidence is South Korea. No correlation between creative confidence and actual creativity. Third question—only 2% say yes (an HR manager and the person sitting next to them.)
I’m going to talk about why the number one thing a leader needs to do is make people more creative.
Definition of an idea = takes two formerly known things and combines them in a new way. We cannot create out of nothing. A person takes knowledge and information and combines them in a new way.
Example: man in Lithuania took the concept of a sink and a urinal and combined them—saves water, space, and time.
The trick is how to teach people the ‘plus’ (Idea =p(k+i) ) If I’m here talking about creativity you expect me to share an example of my own creativity.
My idea = Took the concept of a book and a notebook and combined them.
Lesson #1 – just because people don’t recognize creative genius doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Average business book only sells 300 copies. Budget for management books is very small. Budget for stationery is much larger so I sold 150,000 copies of my book in Sweden.
We are living in a time when creativity is so important. When I was born 50 years ago robots were science fiction. But the world is changing so we need idea-perception—the ability to see that the world has changed.
What is the big change in publishing? It’s not from book to ebook—it’s from book to Facebook or other social media or games. People don’t read unless they run out of battery.
(Showed picture of a woman pretending to read a book while she watches a movie on her iPhone hidden in the book. )
We as human beings are not very good at change.
The people you are leading are so stuck in doing things the way they’ve always been done. Imagine if we as leaders could make people more creative—imagine the potential of making the world better. How do you make people more creative? You inspire them by doing creative things yourself.
What’s the most creative thing I’ve done as a leader? What are creative things I could do as a leader? I urge you to develop your creativity so you can inspire creative people.