#143 – Creativity in Business at Stanford

As constraints, obstacles and challenges multiply, wise leaders consciously devote time and attention to developing and fostering ingenuity in their organizations. Last week I had the opportunity to spend a day on the campus of Stanford University, learning from cross-disciplinary faculty there about the application of creativity principles to business. Here’s part of what I learned from Tina Seelig, a popular professor in the School of Engineering, who teaches entrepreneurship and innovation. This is great information for leaders who want to nurture creative problem-solving and innovation in their organizations.

Food for Thought ~

Seelig has identified 6 elements that when combined, maximize creativity and innovation. The first three are personal, and the second three are organizational.
1. Information base / knowledge
2. Creative Imagination
3. Belief that you can solve the problem + a passion to do so
4. Physical habitats that support innovation (team, rules, physical space)
5. Resources (time, money, community of support and expertise)
6. Culture (the “background music” of the organization)

Question for the day ~

How would you describe your personal level of creativity at work? How would you assess your organization’s culture in terms of supporting creativity and innovation?

Tina Seelig’s new book is called inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity; and here’s a link to her TEDx Stanford talk on creativity.