Kids deserve creativity

As the new school year starts, I always find it shocking how poorly many schools develop children’s creativity. Although creativity and innovation is fundamentally important for economic growth, in most schools it has become totally subservient to the need to push kids through ever more tests. Continue reading Kids deserve creativity

The quiet revolution.

Some revolutions happen quietly, but have profound impacts.

We used to have the idea that “Mankind” was completely separate from “nature”. We thought that humans were the only species on earth with consciousness/intelligence/creativity, and that the Earth and its resources were there for us to exploit without comeback.

Some of us still do think this, but over the last few decades, it has become increasingly clear that none of these statements are true.   Continue reading The quiet revolution.

Natural creativity.

The other day I asked Mike (a pseudonym) , a mid-career manager “How’s it going?”  He replied with quite a tirade.

The essence was that while on holiday, he’d had the space to think about the underlying causes of problems he spent his working days battling with. He had just written (but thankfully not yet sent) a steaming email to his boss demanding that the problems were fixed, or he’d leave.  We discussed the issue (basically, a chaotic production department run by an increasingly alcoholic manager producing defective products that upset Mike’s customers) and came up with a constructive solution that he could propose to his boss.

This is of course the holiday season, and I find it interesting how common it is for people to return from holiday having had important creative insights into their careers or problems at work. Continue reading Natural creativity.

That Vision Thing

The other day I was helping develop some future scenarios, set in 15 years time, envisaging some of the surprising business consequences of the clean-tech energy transition.

Envisaging future scenarios is something I love doing, and I find it really quite easy.  It always surprises me that some people find it very hard, because it is an important skill, and one that can be developed. Continue reading That Vision Thing

Brexit as Innovation

As the UK embarks on the complicated process of negotiating itself out of the EU, I found myself reflecting about the parallels with innovation.

Many R&D managers will recognise the feeling of being asked to achieve a complex multifaceted project with an apparently impossible timescale and distracting internal politics, while being under-resourced and under huge pressure to “just get on with it”.  Continue reading Brexit as Innovation

The Power of a Mayor

By 5th May 2017 our rather bizarre devolved region of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have an elected Mayor.  This extends from near Royston in the South up through Fenland to a bit north of Wisbech, and from a bit past Newmarket in the East (but not of course including Newmarket) to near Thrapston in the West.

It’s hardly a coherent geographical region.  I, like most people round here, was initially pretty unconvinced that we needed another layer of government, but our councils voted for it, and so now we need to make the best of it.

One of the important areas where the Mayor  could make a difference is in the whole area of the environment, climate change and sustainability.   Continue reading The Power of a Mayor