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 requires creativity” more than anything else.
While 80% of those surveyed thought their environment would soon become even more volatile and complex than it was, only 49% were confident that their organizations were prepared to respond to such growth — the inevitable result of industry transformation and modern technology. It is still true that this gap between existing 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.”
One of the points made by the CEOs: “Creative leaders are comfortable 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.