…Australian author Andrew Grant is also a thinker of global renown who is in the business of nurturing creativity. And he is set to bring his thoughts to a sizable Hong Kong audience on April 24.
The forum, titled “Who Killed Creativity? …And How Can We Get It Back?”, is based on the just-released book of the same name, written by Grant and his wife, Gaia. The couple founded Tirian, a team-building and leadership development consultancy. So what does the forum intend to deliver?
“I’ll be sharing some of the interesting facts about creative thinking and the research that’s been done in the area, and I’ll be then introducing the seven creativity ‘killers’, and the ways they can be dealt with,” Grant says.
“I’ll be using the interactive board game we use in our workshops, set up as a ‘crime scene investigation’ in a Cluedo-style [board-game] format, so participants can investigate how creativity gets ‘killed’ in organisations and where it gets ‘killed’,” he adds.
“It will be a fun interactive experience for the participants and should be a profound learning experience as well. Participants should walk away from the session which a much greater understanding of how creativity is stifled, and what strategies they can use to ‘rescue’ it.”
Grant appropriately addresses the issue with remarkable creativity. He also tackles some topical questions on the minds of many business leaders today.
Grant posits that, while creativity is a key leadership quality, it appears to be in steep decline. “A milestone IBM report released at the end of 2011 revealed that of 1,500 CEOs interviewed across 60 industries and 33 countries, a majority saw creative thinking as the number one quality needed for leaders of the future, and I have felt the same trend emerging,” Grant says.
He says this finding should be assessed against the fact that while IQ scores have been rising steadily over the years by about 10 points per decade, the so-called creative quotient scores have been falling since 1990.
“Also, we lose the ability to think creatively as we age, so while 98 per cent of children aged 2-5 years old score as ‘geniuses’ on divergent thinking tests, only 10 per cent of 10-15 year olds do, and this number drops to 2 per cent for adults aged 25 and older. This reveals the urgency of the situation and the need for some solutions fast,” Grant says.
To help current and aspiring business leaders to reverse this decline, he employs a very creative and engaging “criminal investigative” approach.
What can be expected? Firstly, an investigation of the crime scene that yields a profile of the “murderer” and, leading from this, seven deadly creativity killers.
Grant takes this metaphor to extraordinary lengths, such as a highly insightful workout in the “forensics lab”. There’s even a “trial”, where questions are asked and answered, including: “Can the killers be redeemed… and are the rescuers squeaky clean?”
And who can suppress a wry smile at the names of suspects such as “XS Stress” (who inflicts “crushing coercion” in the C-suite) and the bean-counter “Beau Rock-Racy” (notorious for his “noxious negativity”)? But behind the clever nomenclatures, Grant makes some excellent points. And the forum, co-organised by Classified Post and the China Speakers Agency, promises to be an entertaining and enlightening event.