Creative Leadership: From Manchester to Moscow in the new Trump era

November 21, 2016

Donad Trump

A scheduled lecture via Skype from Manchester to students in Moscow took place in the week of Donald Trump’s victory in the election campaign. Here are the lecturer’s notes of the lecture content

Professor Gershman developed the course ‘Managing Creativity and Innovation’ for the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) within the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

ISSEK is a well-known research and analytical centre in Russia, specializing in science, technology and innovation studies. ISSEK is collaborating closely with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (Prof. Ian Miles is the head of ISSEK’s Laboratory of Economics of Innovation, Prof. Luke Georghiou is a member of ISSEK Advisory Board).

Monday 6 November 2016

Introductory remarks:What is creativity. Many theories.

My background: A scientist, chemist, studied worked in UK and New York

Creativity background:

The Creative act that had me fired for insolence. When ‘permission was not granted’.

Definitions are ‘contingent not universal‘.

Consensus has formed around creativity as a process generating new, relevant, useful outcomes.

Creativity and Policy:  Not my strong area: My research has been more at level of individual, team.

Educational policy in USA after ‘Sputnik’: the creative initiative 1957, Dawn of space age.

Guilford’s earlier speech to The American Psychological Association: Was said to have drawn attention to the potential in studies of creativity for educational advances (pedagogy). Torrance tests, also later sent into space with other artefacts

Education policy in Venezuala: via Minister of Education to stimulate creativity through De Bono’s models (lateral thinking) Information processing (Cognitive) model. Escape from fixation via contradictions, randomness, fantasy. His work supported by recent neurological studies.

Creativity theories: Support Kahnman’s biases in economic theory.

The technology hotspots model: Richard Florida’s controversial creative city model. Three factors of Talent, Technology, Tolerance, resulting in economic hot spots

Questions:

Creativity ‘past present and future’ [PowerPoint]

Psychological approaches to creativity in Heath service [PowerPoint]

Questions:

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Creative Leadership: From Manchester to Moscow in the new Trump era

November 17, 2016

A scheduled lecture from Manchester to students in Moscow took place in the week of Donald Trump’s victory in the election campaign. Here’s the content of the Skype arrangement

With some trepidation, I accepted an invitation to address an international course on the topic of creativity from my home base in England. The inevitable teething troubles with technology were solved in a somewhat tense day prior to the first of two lecture sessions, which took place [Monday 6 November 2016] a few days before the conclusion of the American Presidential election.

Professor Gershman developed the course ‘Managing Creativity and Innovation’ for the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) within the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

ISSEK is a well-known research and analytical centre in Russia, specializing in science, technology and innovation studies. ISSEK is collaborating closely with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research  (Prof. Ian Miles is the head of ISSEK’s Laboratory of Economics of Innovation, and Prof. Luke Georghiou is a member of ISSEK Advisory Board).

Here are the outline notes I had propped up in front of me, and also visible to the students

Introductory Remarks

What is creativity: Many theories.

My background: A scientist, chemist, studied worked in UK and New York

The Creative act that had me fired for insolence

Definitions: ‘contingent not universal’.

Consensus around creativity as a process generating new, relevant, useful outcomes.

Policy and creativity:

Policy is not my strong area: My research more at level of individual, team

Educational policy in USA after ‘Sputnik’: the creative initiative 1957, Dawn of space age.

Guilford’s earlier speech to The American Psychological Association: Was said to have drawn attention to the potential in studies of creativity for educational advances (pedagogy)

Torrance tests, were later sent into space with other artefacts

Education policy in Venezuala: via Minister of Education to stimulate creativity through De Bono’s models (lateral thinking) Information processing (Cognitive) model. Escape from fixation via contradictions, randomness, fantasy. His work supported by recent neurological studies.

Creativity theories: support Kahnman’s biases in economic theory.

The technology hotspots model: Richard Florida’s controversial creative city model. Three factors of Talent, Technology, Tolerance, resulting in economic hot spots

The USA election: Say it may be worthwhile taking a look at the election for the next session, after the result is known.

Questions:

Creativity ‘past present and future’ [PowerPoint]

Psychological approaches to creativity in Heath service [PowerPoint]

Questions:

To be continued


Hugo Chavez will have a foothold in world history

March 9, 2013

Hugo ChavezHugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, who died this week, deserves study as an example of an visionary revolutionary leader whose influence impacted on global events over several decades.

His life story is the stuff of legends. The disentanglement of myth from reality is difficult. Inevitably there is the view of his supporters who find it easy to support the great leader narrative. Conversely, the view of his detractors provides the mirror image, that of a delusional tyrant who misapplied the oil revenues of his country through his foreign policy adventures.

A platform of understanding

There is a factual basis of events which forms a shared ‘platform of understanding’ or POU, regardless of which of the rival ‘maps’ you subscribe to. I have drawn the following synopsis from an obituary in the Guardian, selecting information which can be found in other sources.

Chavez was born in humble circumstances and had no obvious natural advantages by birth. What he achieved he did largely through his own efforts. If there were other factors it would be the natural resources and particularly its oil which give Venezuela considerable economic clout beyond its borders.

His parents were both teachers by profession, but a passion for baseball led young Hugo to enrol in the military academy at the age of 17. As a young officer, he became disillusioned with [corruption in] the armed forces and led a failed uprising against the military. The successor to President Pérez, Rafael Caldera, ordered the cases against them to be dropped. Chavez later stood for president with a promise to sweep aside the old order, rewrite the constitution and eliminate corruption. Riding a wave of disgust with politics, and strode to power. Later elections consolidated Chávez’s grip on power. There followed a period of unrest, a resignation, and a subsequent reinstatement.

During his 1998 presidential campaign, Chávez had insisted that he was “neither of the left nor the right”. But by 2006, he felt sufficiently secure to declare that socialism was the only way forward. Specifically, it was “21st-century socialism”. By 2011 Chavez was in poor health, and he stood and won re-election in absentia earlier this year [2013]

Internationally, he supported allies through his oil revenues and was particularly influential in Cuba. His political stance was increasingly distasteful to the United States. His presidency has been described as fostering a socialist pink tide sweeping Latin America including Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Arguably Brazil, under Lula, a more cautious leader, internationally, supported Chavez in principle, without risking the roller-coaster ride in political fortunes.

What can be learned about leadership from studying Hugo Chavez?

I believe that students of leadership should study the accounts of influential leaders. However, my view comes with serious reservations. The stories tend to be either highly favourable or highly dismissive. In either case, what is missing (and what the student has to provide) is the lessons from the way the leader deals with the tough problems or dilemmas. Too often I read essays in which leaders appear to overcome all obstacles through natural brilliance.

21st century socialism

Chavez consistently faced difficulties including imprisonment and possible impeachment or worse. He was consistent in placing himself in a high moral position by appealing to a higher cause including ‘Bolivarization’ of his country, the emancipation of the oppressed, and (more recently) 21st century socialism. This implied a creative leadership stance of ‘Both And’ permitting him a retention of his Christian faith, while supporting other socialist and communist leaders who rejected it.