We chat to Fredrik Härén, celebrity author of The Idea Book. Fredrik is one of the most talked about names in the field of creativity.He has been nominated Entrepreneur of the Year, and voted Speaker of the Year in Sweden, and is now living in Singapore. He is in huge demand as a key note speaker and has led training sessions on developing business creativity in over 25 countries. The Idea Book is published in 40 countries and 9 languages and has been voted one of the 100 best business books.
Transcript – Fredrik Härén
I think to be creative you have to have a vision. You have to be able to imagine. Imagination is about creativity. An idea is a picture that exists in your head and no-where else.
We lack visionaries. We lack people who are able to paint a picture of a world that could be infinitely better.
When you meet an American , they say, “where’s the Asian Steve Jobs?”. OK. Fair Enough. But where’s the American Steve Jobs now that Steve Jobs has tragically died?
I think some-one who lives in a developing country has the potential to be more creative than someone in a developed country.
If you think about it, a developing country is growing, changing, dynamic – I’m learning something.
But a developed country basically means ‘done’! I am developed, I am done.
I am much more worried about the developed countries who are just trying to protect what they have. And when you are just protecting what you have you are actually losing out.
The developing world is trying to go somewhere and make something new. If you live in a society like that, you’ll become like that.
From the Head of R & D to the receptionist, everyone in a company can be so much more creative.
First we have to understand that there is hardly a company in the world that is doing enough to develop the creativity of its employees. Hardly any dollars are spent on giving people the ability to think creatively – which is a sad fact.
If you ask me what is the best way to get a creative culture in a company, its to make sure you are using people from different cultures and countries and get them to take whatever is good from their creativity.
If you have a good company you’ll have a strong corporate culture. And that corporate culture will go right across. So if you work for say, IKEA. It’s about innovation, customer focus, and low price.
If you work for IKEA, whether you are a Swede or a Chinese, you’re an IKEA person. And then you take that Thai IKEA person and a Chinese IKEA person and those strong corporate values and add on the best of their cultures, that mix is how you get truly creative, innovative companies. A global mindset rather than nationalist.
What is our creative DNA. What is the creativity in our company.
So the most important thing for a leader in a company is not to say how can we become like Apple. It’s to say what is our creative DNA? What’s the creativity in our company? What’s the best idea to have come out of this company and when are we the most creative as a group and when are we least creative. And then you say this is our creative DNA and you try to make it stronger.
We need more ideas, we need better ideas and we need to be better at executing them.