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The cover of a recent Newsweek (7/19/10) says it all: Creativity in America.  However, based upon the Torrance test, the creativity quotient (CQ) has been declining every year since 1990 which does not bode well for companies and organizations that are hiring, nor for our society.  A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No.1 leadership competency of the future.  What are the culprits for this decline?  Hours spent in front of TV playing videogames and a lack of creativity development in schools are two leading causes.  Moreover, there is a focus on standardized curriculum and rote memorization in American schools, while the Chinese schools adopt a problem-based learning approach.

So if leaders need a creative competency and the education system is going in reverse, is this a lost cause?  No, creative training can be a part of all management training courses.  We employ a method in brainstorming known as the double reversal technique.

1.   State a positive goal

2.   Reverse the goal to negative

3.   Brainstorm actions that would achieve the negative goal.

4.   Reverse each action to create positive goal.

Guaranteed to yield creative and innovative ideas that could foster a cultural change in the organization.

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