Creativity is a Power Tool.

Creativity is a Power Tool.

Two years ago, Quentin was planting pansies in our front flower garden well before the May long weekend. As I watched my husband root around in the dirt on his hands and knees, I most wished for his success. I wanted his pansies proliferate and be plentiful. In the spirit of being a supportive spouse, I reminded him of the very Saskatchewanean advice given to me by other avid gardeners; “wait until the new moon in June” before planting. Quentin’s response was succinct. “Pansies are tough,” he said. He was right. The pansies survived and, indeed, thrived. That’s how I feel about creativity. Just like this not-tough sounding flower is tough, creativity is a power tool.

In leadership and in governance, professionals know that we need to have a variety of skills, education, and life experiences around the board table to best inform our board response to risk and to our strategy. How many of our boards actually have this diversity of perspective and experience?

It is my opinion that the ideal board table has, most certainly, accounting, finance, and law expertise present. This ideal board table has an MBA and CEO present. It also has industry specific experience along with technology and/or cyber expertise. Lastly but not least, the ideal board table, in my opinion, has someone with an atypical or creative background pulling up a chair.

Have you ever seen the movie World War Z with Brad Pitt? During a zombie apocalypse, he travels to Israel in his quest to find a solution or even a cure. He learns about how the wall came to be built. The concept of The Tenth Man is explained to him. This is the duty of the tenth man to disagree with the main consensus. The duties of the tenth man include challenging the status quo and the very concept that is being agreed to by the collective. Having someone with a creative or atypical background allows space and opportunity for this to happen. This is where innovation can happen.

Creativity is a power tool. Its inclusion empowers boards to be creative and therefore innovative in both risk management and in strategy.

Creativity is a Power Tool.
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