I think in the corporate world we freely use ‘positive words’ like ‘transformation’ and ‘innovation’ in order to indicate our progressive, modern leadership style. But we shy away from a proper engagement with ‘negative words’ like ‘risk’ and ‘mistakes’. We don’t like the suggestion that commercial success is a calculated risk, because we don’t like to accommodate the prospect of failure. It offends our faith in optimism and positive thinking. In this respect we do ourselves a disservice. It’s like talking about rights without recognizing responsibilities.
And we are particularly cautious around the word ‘creativity’. Creativity belongs in Pandora’s box, along with art and Bohemia and adolescent paintings of Coke cans; along with hirsute cyclists of dubious politics and personal hygiene; along with an excess of emotion and a scarcity of common sense. Creativity is all about soft sell and soft options, not hard data and hard facts.
I wonder if we in the creative businesses have chosen the wrong word. Would we fare better if we were called ‘change managers’ or ‘commercial disruptors’? Would our expertise be more highly regarded if we were ‘innovation scientists’? Would we sit at the mythical ‘high table’ if our chair said ‘transformation consultants’?
A good question posted by Jim Carroll on his always-wise blog.