Edward Glassman, PhD : Can Government Be Truly Creative & Innovative?
Can Government Be Truly Creative & Innovative?
By Edward Glassman, PhD
Can government agencies be truly creative and innovative? Of course, you say. We just have to get government officials to attend a creativity & innovative meeting where...
Sound easy? Well, I have a prickly feeling in the back of my neck that tells me truly creative & innovative government won't happen soon.
I have seen many government idea-generation sessions fall short of attacking problems truly creatively because of the fear that offending and dippy temporary ideas will go public and invite the attack and ire of others, and spoil chances for future careers.
And I remember one creativity session I led for the executive council of a large, prominent university where one of the deans quietly asked a student assistant to secretly destroy one flip chart paper because she didn't like one of the ideas. It offended and insulted her, she said later.
Far-fetched brainstormed ideas just cannot exist or survive in the practical political world that doesn't understand the absolutely temporary nature of the bizarre ideas generated in a creativity session. Or their necessity to achieve profitable solutions.
But all my experience with semi-creative creativity sessions pales with comparison to this paraphrased April 25th 2010 report in BBC news
WOW. What a commotion. Such a fuss. Which government official in the UK, or anywhere else will hold meetings like this. Any official who requests secrecy opens his career to a possible default, especially by offended coworkers.
On the other hand, hope exists. The mere fact that the foreign office in the UK held such a brainstorm meeting indicates that some people in that government want to foster more creativity & innovation in their work. Decades ago, the same problems with brainstorm meetings that now exist in government existed in corporations, and look how prevalent these meetings now are in corporations. •
© 2010 by Edward Glassman. All rights reserved.
Edward Glassman, PhD was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he headed the Program For Team Effectiveness And Creativity. More »