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Looking at the role of creativity in driving innovation and business success 

Selected articles, June - Oct 2012

Creativity is central to the emerging 21st century innovation-driven and fast-changing global economy. More specifically, it is an indispensible tool for addressing a wide range of socio-economic problems arising during the transition of today’s knowledge economy into what is increasingly referred to as a ‘creativity economy’, in which new wealth is created not by knowledge per se but by the way in which knowledge is applied creatively. This transition currently poses a great challenge for all businesses and most significantly for multinational corporations: working with a culturally diverse workforce across vastly diverse cultural contexts, how can they ‘manage for creativity’ in order to harness this indispensable tool for organizational success?

It is widely recognized that creativity, applicable not only to the arts but to any domain, and which is understood as the entire knowledge creation process, is a golden key for organizational success. Accordingly, ‘managing for creativity’ is a central challenge, and creativity itself is seen as a crucial capability among the 21st century’s most important leadership qualities; the 2010 IBM study of Global CEO’s, for instance, showed that ”…more than rigor, management discipline integrity or even vision - successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.”

For organizations, the capability to empower creativity in organizations that need to cope effectively with an increasingly interdependent world is directly dependent on yet another central capability: the capability to bridge cultural divides and achieve a broad cultural congruence. Managing across borders, organizations face substantial complexity due to the diversity of cultural contexts they operate in. The challenge therefore lies in improving cultural capabilities to turn the complexities rooted in cultural diversity into an advantage.

This in turn requires not only knowledge about adequate behaviors, but more importantly, an understanding of deeper-level cultural assumptions, values and belief systems. This form of cultural intelligence can have important ramifications for ‘managing for creativity’. One well-known example of the influence of cultural intelligence on creativity is that the diverse cultural perspectives and mindsets of an intercultural workforce are a key ingredient for a divergent way of thinking and thus a prerequisite for creativity. Once organizations are capable of leveraging cultural diversity in this and other ways, the challenge of ‘managing for creativity’ across vastly diverse cultural contexts will be turned into an opportunity.

Why Innovation Is About More Than Bright Ideas

“While creativity may be unique and even admired, it may not captivate others in a big enough way to change the marketplace. Or, it may not offer benefits that shift the market.”

FastCompany.com, 22 Oct 2012


Transforming Cigna with a New Brand and Advertising Campaign That Combines Right-Brain Creativity With Left-Brain Data

“When good advertising connects with the target on an emotional level, it has a positive halo on rational brand attributes as well.  As Karsch puts it, “you might say that with the best advertising, you get the best of both brains!”“

Forbes, 22 Oct 2012


Cultural creativity fair launches in Taipei

“Chang Pen-tsao, chairman of event-organizer the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, added that the primary emphases this year are to bring in buyers from mainland China and maintain connections between artists and businesses once the expo ends.”

Taiwan Times, 18 Oct 2012


'The Economy Has Forced Creative People to Reach Inside Themselves'

As part of our special Election Issue, we’re asking Bloomberg Businessweek readers to tell us: Are we better off than we were four years ago?”

Business Week, 16 Oct 212

The Untapped Innovation Factory

“The majority of workers are in frontline positions, yet most organizations don’t have a clue how to tap into the creativity of their largest group of employees.“

Bloomberg Business Week, 16 Oct 2012


What lessons can organisational culture take from nature?

"Business is on the cusp of a paradigm shift, moving from structures and hierarchies to networks and webs. Insights from nature can act as inspiration for this transition. (…) The concept of emergence is fundamental to how nature operates. Physicist and systems theorist, Fritjof Capra, noted that: "Throughout the living world, the creativity of life expresses itself through the process of emergence." “

The Sustainable Business Blog, 10 Oct 2012


The Biggest Innovation Barrier is Culture, Say 47% of Executives

"A survey from Insigniam reveals new insights on barriers to innovation, who executives believe should be leading innovation, and time spent by executives on creative or innovative work." 

PRWeb, 27 Sept 2012



Dubai's cultural diversity can be an advantage when it comes to creativity in business,says a leading expert from Manchester Business School

AMEinfo.com, 25 Sept 2012



INSTANT MBA: Imitating Big Corporations Can Encourage Creativity In Small Businesses

Business Insider, 18 Sept 2012



Culture becoming more relevant in marketing

BizTheStar.com, 17 Sept 2012



Microsoft promotes cultural expertise as part of new go-to-market strategy

"SINGAPORE - The industry has to start treating cultural knowledge as a professional competency, said Frederique Covington Corbett, Microsoft's central market…."

Campaignasia.com, 16 Sept 2012



Save Us, Creativity! 

Huffington Post (blog), 13 Sept 2012



Study Examines Thoughts and Feelings That Foster Collaboration Across Cultures

RedOrbit.com, 12 Sept 2012



Asia 'best placed to gain from innovation-led global economy'

NationMultimedia.com, 11 Sept 2012



Companies look for diversity of culture & thought

"It's not just gender diversity that organizations are pursuing. Diversity of culture, nationality, skill sets and even thought is being looked at with a certain degree of seriousness while recruiting."

The Times of India, 25 Aug 2012



The Connection Between Creativity and Entrepreneurship

TheAtlanticCities.com, 14 Aug 2012



Creativity Will Drive the U.S. Economy

"Creativity can be found in all industries, and we need it to boost the economy."

USNews.com, August 9, 2012


The Business Case For Creativity: Why Coke Thinks Winning At Cannes Matters


  “The global significance of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity gathers momentum each and every year. This year both official attendance figures and advertiser entries increased in excess of 20%. This is quite remarkable when you consider the broader economic challenges that nearly every business and geography is facing. ‘If Cannes has taught me one thing, it is that creativity drives effectiveness. You can not have one without the other. That knowledge has been instrumental to my career.’ “ 

                                     Fast Co-create.com, 09 July 2012

In his new work, Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer argues that the ability to be creative, whether in the arts, business, science, or one’s daily life, is neither a fixed quality, nor is it an ability that is found only in a few isolated geniuses. 
Creativity, in his view, is something that is possible for almost anyone. 

Lehrer writes that we now are able to identify many of the conditions and behaviours that increase a person’s ability to be creative and to develop new ways of looking at the world. Lehrer insists that we stop viewing imagination as a separate and unique kind of understanding and, instead, realize that “creativity is a catch-all term for a variety of distinct thought processes” that we share in common.” 

Vancouver Sun, 06 July 2012

“Companies are creating value by shifting from a commodities economy to a knowledge-based sector that focuses on intangible assets and output in business in addition to embracing intellectual property (IP). The approach helps protect businesses of all sizes, in addition to monitoring and auditing events that impact the organisation.”.

Ameinfo.com, 01 July 2012

Creativity is an essential skill for navigating an increasingly complex world

And yet the path to innovative thinking can be surprisingly simple.

Harvard Business Review / Business Time, 28 June 2012

“Values-led leaders help create emotionally and mentally healthy organisations, where business goals are met without sacrificing personal values. ‘A key aspect of effective leadership is establishing the right organisational culture; a culture that fosters diversity, and encourages creativity, while ensuring the diverse stakeholder group live and breathe the values inherent in that culture. 

The culture is the psyche of the organisation. This psyche constantly senses and responds in ways much like a conscious person constantly improves through self-reflection and personal mastery.’”

 The Guardian, 26 June 2012

Rio+20 lacking creativity

“... ‘politicians are very focused on the near term and use linear thinking, with points of view that are based on scarcity and typically based on fear. Instead, he said, they should focus on "exponential technologies," or technologies that double in price performance every year. ‘We now use these technologies to play video games, but we don't use them to address the world's biggest problems.’ he said. My opinion: I agree. The Rio+20 meeting should be applauded for encouraging conservation, but it should have spent more time promoting innovation.”


Winnipeg Free Press, 23 June 2012     

                                         Creativity drives business: McDonald’s @ Cannes

“Marlena Peleo-Lazar, Chief Creative Officer and Matt Biespiel, Senior Director of Global Brand Development speak on McDonald’s global marketing principles.‘We come to Cannes every year because this is the place to be for creativity and creativity drives our business. We come here to learn, to be inspired and to meet with our agencies and ensure we are all heading in the right direction.’ Peleo-Lazar added, ‘We are here also to inspire and be with our creative partners from all over the world. We are here to learn from everyone, including other brands and take the message home because this is the world’s best stage for creativity.’”  

Exchange4media.com, 22 June 2012


 Creativity: The Secret Behind the Secret

“In 2010, IBM’s Institute for Business Value surveyed over 1,500 chief executives about the most important leadership competency for this new millennium. Creativity was the across-the-board’s winner. No surprise, right. 

But this begs the eternal question: when scaling up your business, where in the heck does one find good creative talent?”

Forbes, 16 June 2012

Dubai SME launches Facebook contest to support SME brand awareness and creativity

“Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, has launched a 'Brand Creativity Contest' on facebook to encourage and reward creativity and innovation among SMEs and entrepreneurs.”


AMEinfo.com, 19 June 2012


Breaking through the barriers to creativity 

“Understanding what gets in the way of people giving their best is key to unlocking their creativity to enable them to think differently, according to creative thinking champion and motivational speaker David Hall.” (,,,) 


“His own definition of creativity is the “generation of ideas that are both novel and useful” but he is mindful that most people are conditioned to use their experience to generate useful ideas that are not new. Timing, he cautions, is crucial to acceptance. Unless a culture of creativity already exists in an organisation, it is important to first ensure there is an environment which accepts creative thought where it was previously frowned upon.”

                                        Times of Malta, 14 June 2012 


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