An expert on branding and the award-winning author of "The New Emerging Market Multinationals: Four Strategies for Disrupting Markets and Building Brands," Amitava Chattopadhyay is the GlaxoSmithKline Chaired Professor of Corporate Innovation at INSEAD. He doesn't believe that creativity is a special trait. He distills the essence of creativity into a single phrase - " It's about giving yourself the permission to fail".
What does creativity mean to you?
Making a connection that hasn’t been made before. In a work context that means making a novel connection that creates some utility for stakeholders.
What does creative leadership mean to you ?
Creating an environment where those in my team feel enabled.
Do you utilise any frameworks for creative problem solving in your work?
Design thinking seems to be the new buzz word for good old marketing since it’s about understanding and responding to consumer needs. In academia, for research, one constantly uses divergent and convergent thinking and creative problem solving. It’s also relevant for teaching. So design thinking is relevant for thinking through what one may want to achieve in the classroom.
Name a company you admire for its creative problem solving culture.
Google. They provide an environment of freedom and encouragement for employees to try new things without worrying about failure.
Are there challenges associated related to the traits of creativity and creative leadership in a business context?
I think creativity is not really a trait. Anyone can be creative. It’s about giving yourself the permission to fail.
What do you do to fuel your creativity?
Immerse myself in what is going on around me. Read a lot. Observe.