Creativity on the Job

Cheryl Bock, COMPAS Board Member, on creativity in corporate America...

Let me tell you a bit about my creative background.  I grew up in St. Paul and attended public schools where art was an essential part of the curriculum.  My first (and last) piece of art to be displayed in an art show was in second grade.  My first (and last) appearance in a musical was in third grade when our classroom wrote, produced and starred in our own. In elementary school my sister and I could choose between learning an instrument or dance – there was not enough money to do both. I chose to play flute and stuck with it all the way through high school.

Despite my participation in a variety of arts, I did not come up with enough talent in any one area to make a living and so I turned to business.

Yet art experiences and the creative thinking and problem solving they instilled in me continue to find their way into my professional life in Corporate America.  The ability to see things in a new and different way, to synthesize information into a new solution, to offer ideas that are not the standard response are key skills I employ regularly.

According to William Yu, an economist with UCLA Anderson Forecast, “Before the 19th century, U.S. economy was an agricultural economy.  In the 19th and 20th century, we turned to an industrial economy.  In the 21st century, we are turning to a creative economy.  In a creative economy, innovative people with new ideas, artistic view and mindset will be needed more than ever.”

When I hire people, I don’t look for people who can solve old problems, I look for people who can creatively deal with the future.

According to Ian Brennan, television writer, actor, producer (including creating Glee) and director, “Your creativity is the greatest gift you will ever be given, and it’s the source of the greatest things you will achieve.” 

Yes. I believe our creativity is that important. That’s why I serve on COMPAS’ board.

We are all born creative.  At COMPAS is it our mission to help people stay that way.