CEOs in the Market for Creativity


I’ve written on many occasions about the need for imagination, creativity, and innovation (ICI) in business, even going so far as to call the first item on that list America’s “greatest domestic renewable resource” (in the book, Imagination First, co-authored with Eric Liu, page 26). But don’t take my word for it: according to IBM’s fourth biennial Global CEO Study—for which IBM consultants interviewed over 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries—business leaders around the globe “believe that … successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity” more than anything else. (Read the press release here.) While 80% of those surveyed think their environment will soon become even more volatile and complex than it is today, only 49% are confident that their organizations are prepared to respond to such growth, the inevitable result of industry transformation and modern technology. This gap between present capabilities and future demands explains why, in the words of IBM Global Business Services Senior Vice President Frank Kern, “CEOs identify creativity as the number one leadership competency of the successful enterprise of the future.” I should also mention that one of the points made by the CEOs—“Creative leaders are comfortable with ambiguity”—mirrors one of Lincoln Center Institute’s ten Capacities for Imaginative Learning, “Living with Ambiguity.” Indeed, it’s crucial in all areas of life to understand that problems may have more than one solution and that finding solutions may take time. The similarity between the CEOs’ thinking and ours is a fresh reminder that the world of ICI is a small one!

Image provided by IBM.

The Educator and the Businesspeople


Image by Jane Hoffer

On June 22 and 23, I, Scott Noppe-Brandon, executive director of Lincoln Center Institute (LCI), rode downtown to New York City’s Grand Hyatt Hotel to attend the 2010 New York Forum (NYF), which brought together business leaders to address current challenges facing the global economy. What was I doing there? Knowing about my belief in the power of imagination to transform the American workforce—which I express in Imagination FirstRichard Attias, the event’s founder and producer, had invited me. I found myself perhaps the only educator, certainly the only arts educator, among a high-powered group of CEOs, economists, policy makers, and other prominent members of the business community. Continue reading

Full Audio Podcast of the April 19th Imagination Conversation Now Available!


Last Monday, Steven Dahlberg, director of the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination in New Milford, CT, hosted the Connecticut Imagination Conversation, as part of its 50 Imagination Conversations project. The agenda for the event focused on education, community, and leadership, with an eye toward developing an innovative, state-wide agenda.

Recorded for broadcast on the Connecticut Public Radio program, “Where We Live,” and now the audio recording is available online—check it out!

For a brief, but very vibrant, summary by radio commentator John Dankosky, you can also visit “I am, by nature, both highly skeptical and wildly enthusiastic about [such] conversations,” begins Dankosky, who seems to have ended up being mostly wildly enthusiastic. The page welcomes comments.


The Wanderer


Image by emdot*

I love being Executive Director of Lincoln Center Institute, but if I were to name my job’s myriad positive qualities, tranquility wouldn’t be one of them. Lincoln Center’s position as the world’s largest performing arts institution is something I never forget, especially when I have a significant decision to make. In these moments, a mob of diverse and worthy perspectives invariably crowds my mind: I hear the voices of Lincoln Center’s and LCI’s Boards of Directors; of Maxine Greene, our Philosopher-in-Residence; of my passionate senior staff; of the classroom educators with whom we work and the students whom we serve. Then I get nervous. How am I supposed to synthesize the wisdom and interests of so many parties? Can I do so and still actually get something done? I feel myself tensing up, and I know it’s time to wander. Continue reading