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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Balancing Creativity, Efficiency and Sustainability | Andrew Stein, Stein Vox

I like the messages in this article, though as a writer/editor I struggled a bit with its random organization. Below are excerpts of some key points I got from the article.
This is about balancing three important factors – creativity, efficiency and sustainability. If done well, balancing these three factors builds strong learning and high-performance organizations. It strengthens businesses with new ideas for products and services to complement business from existing products and services – and, in a word, drives growth. ...

Creativity is the mind, soul and heart of a company that it cannot survive without. ... [C]reativity in corporate culture must be actively nurtured and visibly enabled by leaders. Ideas and innovation in terms of process, failure and eventual success must be celebrated. People in this organization have daily infusions from the creative types in design and marketing departments. ...
Efficiency is a domain of cost control, productivity, and financial measures. These are all internally focused and  corporation-centric. Customers don’t care about efficiency from this perspective. ...
[S]ustainability is much more important than being green and environmentally friendly. That is only a small part of it. Balancing sustainability is the factor that ensures people are thinking about today with the same sense of importance today as they know it will have tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. ...
Why it’s A Dilemma Now
Many companies, led by executive teams and boards of directors, have a natural propensity to overdo efficiency in lieu of creativity and sustainability. After all, management, academia, MBAs and corporate culture have driven this reaction for two hundred years. We’re good at it. Creativity and Sustainability is hard to teach, do, and measure. ...
A Different Economy ...
Apply the 80/20 rule, recognizing that the last 20% of efficiency measures cost too much in other terms to implement for too little gain. More innovation will always produce better results.  ... To have more successful products that add incremental revenue and growth to the bottom line, one has to invest (in a balanced way) in innovation.
Efficiency Suicide
Existing products become obsolete over time. Without innovating new products and services, too much focus on operational efficiency accelerates obsolescence and results in corporate suicide. Companies are only just now learning how serious this is. ...
Leadership Focus ...
True leadership is about serving the organization and creating a corporate culture such that it naturally thinks creatively, and delivers innovation and drives greatness. True leadership is about creating an environment that celebrates failure as a step toward an innovation the will become the next new product or service – and result in real growth for the company.
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This article is featured in today's (July 7) Garbl's Creativity Connections -- available at the Creativity tab above and by free email subscription.

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