Creative Leaders

A Knowledge @ Wharton study on why creative people can lose out on leadership positions found that creativity is the single most important quality for success today.  

Yet, the study found that when it came to hiring and promoting practices, today's businesses consistently marked down the creative managers and bypassed them, selecting less creative types.

We are in the midst of transition from an industrial economy to a networked information economy.   As a result,  the sources of value creation and growth are also shifting from natural resources and industrial capital to information resources and creative networked capital.   I'm not the first to highlight this, but here are a few earlier posts on the topic if you're interested:

extracting new value from data,

the value of data 

strategy in the Edge Economy

the creative value of Data + Design

I believe this is a big deal as new companies are formed and incumbents look to redefine themselves in new growth markets.

Creative Leaders understand how value creation is shifting away from our industrial legacy resources toward business models and architectures optimizing resources found in networked information.  For more context, here's an excerpt from a recent Forbes article on "Why Steve Jobs Couldn't Find a Job Today"

"The argument goes that America was blessed with lots of fertile land and abundant water, giving the country a big advantage in the agrarian economy from the 1600s into the 1900s.  

During the Industrial economy of the 1900s America was again blessed with enormous natural resources (iron ore, minerals, gold, silver, oil, gas and water) as well as navigable rivers, the great lakes and natural low-cost transport routes.  A rapidly growing and hard working set of laborers, aided by immigration, provided more fuel for America’s growth as an industrial powerhouse.

But now we’re in the information economy.

Those natural resources aren’t the big advantage they once were. Foodstuffs require almost no people for production.  And manufacturing is shifting to offshore locations where cheap labor and limited regulations allow for cheaper production.  And it’s not clear America would benefit even if it tried maintaining these lower-skilled jobs.  

Today, value goes to those who know how to create, store, manipulate and use information.  And success in this economy has a lot more to do with innovation, and the creation of entirely new products, industries and very different kinds of jobs.

Unfortunately, however, we keep hiring for the last economy.  While we “get” the need for innovation, we don’t seem to understand much about how to “do it.”

Are you a Creative Leader?   Do you understand the new rules of value creation in the networked information economy?  

If you are hiring a leader, are you hiring an industrial-age leader or a networked information-age leader?  

Research would say your company's success or failure will depend on your answer.

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