Creativity in demand

A sparkling resume fitted with the best degrees and certifications is not the only mark of excellence these days. Employers and educators are working together to create a new generation of leaders who share a creative intellect and believe in being innovative.


Muaz Shabandri

Published: Tue 4 Oct 2011, 10:02 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

Students receiving business education and managerial training are expected to undergo modules in creative insights, innovation and improvisation as business schools look at leadership with a fresh eye.

On INSEAD’s Abu Dhabi campus, students are taught core modules in leadership during the course of their business studies programme.

Hal Gregersen, senior affiliate professor of Leadership at INSEAD and author of The Innovator’s DNA, said, “There are more and more companies which say innovation matters as the Middle East is experiencing pockets of innovation. However, it is still challenging to find innovative leaders in the region.”

He adds, “Investors want to invest in companies that do things differently and this makes it important to hire people who can create an innovative work experience.”

Hal who has authored several books believes in creating a “culture of innovation” in organisations.

“An innovative idea is one that creates value and a company should have a core group of managers who believe in creating new products and services all the time.”

For Fiona Sandford, director of Career Services at London Business School, graduates need to market themselves by presenting their creative side.

“Employers look for creativity across the board and people want innovators. The ability to communicate in a few words and listen to what an employer wants can make all the difference,” says Fiona.

She adds, “There are different ways in which candidates get assessed and employers are getting smarter at finding out the best candidates to work for them. Recruiting new talent is one of the ways of bringing creative insights and fresh ideas into a workplace.”

The upcoming World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Qatar will put the spotlight on education reforms through innovation as leading innovators will be honoured at the summit.

Highlighting the need for innovation in the region, Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, chairman of WISE, said: “Innovation is crucial for continuing to improve both access to and quality of education. The WISE Awards aim to showcase inspiring projects and give them the exposure they deserve. The winners have often had to overcome preconceived ideas and find creative solutions to break barriers to innovate in education.”

While students will break new barriers in their quest to excel creatively, the thrust on innovation will push educators to test new concepts and create better leaders and managers.

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