A recent BusinessWeek article reported that, “According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBM), CEOs identify ‘creativity’ as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.” While the study’s results will come as no surprise to hard-working creative professionals, they do raise an important question: How do we identify – and hire for – the qualities that add up to creativity?
Once the realm of the dilettante, the “lazy”, the outsiders, creativity, or better said a newly defined form of creativity, has been completely appropriated by capitalism. Now, creatives are those who work to fine tune the system. Creativity is valued and sought after as long as it is non threatening, as long as it fits corporate models and forms of production geared towards financial gains. This is, of course, a lukewarm form of creativity, one that has been tamed and made to fit. The kind of thought process that is not really threatening to the status quo. It used to be that creativity was the refuge of the “revolutionary”, the utopian, those who were not too fit to participate in production. Leave it to education and a couple of centuries of capitalist indoctrination to turn creativity into yet another mass marketed commodity. Now, being a “creative” almost always means the person being referred as such works in advertisement or marketing.
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