You and the Creative Economy

Accountability Contribution Transformation


Key Point: We all need to think and act like inventors, creators and explorers. I was told a story that resonated with me the other day. It was about wild horses, stallions and mares that were penned up for years. They were born to run free through the meadows, but were corralled so they could be controlled. Eventually it was determined that they should be let loose to run and roam. The gate was opened for the horses to “escape.” But they chose to stay together huddled in the corral, waiting for directions what to do next. Fences defined their world. It took a long time to break the habit of command and control before they accepted and acted upon their freedom.

In many ways that feels to be the case with employees in slow-to-adapt, post industrial organizations. Command and control incrementalism is not a sustainable culture to participate in the new CREATIVE economy. What is this new economy like? How is it different?

The Creative Economy, as noted by Steve Denning in the Forbes article, Leadership in the Three-Speed Economy, is not just a new process, new system or technique. It involves a fundamental shift in how leaders think, speak and act in the workplace. The Traditional Economy flourished with an ethos of efficiency and control, but the Creative Economy thrives on the ethos of imagination, exploration, experiment, discovery and collaboration. It means:

A. A shift from a goal of making money to the goal of delighting customers profitably. Innovation is not an option: It’s an imperative. The only question is how?

B. A shift from controlling individuals to inspiring collaboration among self-organizing teams, networks and ecosystems.

C. A shift from coordinating work by hierarchical bureaucracy to dynamic linking, with iterative approaches to development with direct customer feedback and interaction with teams and networks.

D. A shift from a preoccupation with economic value to an embrace of values that will grow the firm and the accompanying ecosystems, particularly radical transparency, continuous improvement and sustainability.

E. A shift from top-down communications to horizontal conversations. Instead of telling people what to do, leaders inspire people across organizational boundaries to work together on common goals.

Character Moves:

  1. Learn more about the creative economy and impact to you and your core competence as a contributor.
  2. How are you investing in yourself to develop your attributes and skills as a collaborator, value creator, connector, and inventor?
  3. How much do live and work in a command and control environment. Are you being coached for results or being treated like you need to stay in the corral? Get out and run, create, explore, discover and collaborate for a purpose that inspires you and others.

The CREATIVE YOU in the Triangle,