BizTech speaker encourages risk and creativity in business
Businesses that follow the status quo are doomed to mediocrity at best, while those skeptical of tradition and open to change have the best chance of succeeding, author and entrepreneur Josh Linkner told those attending this morning's Louisiana Technology and Innovation Breakfast at the Crowne Plaza. The event, hosted by Business Report and other corporate sponsors, was one of two gatherings today that add to this year's online BizTech Expo. Linkner noted that schools, churches, business cultures and society in general tend to discourage creativity and risk-taking, giving rise to a "creativity crisis" in America. He cited a 2008 Harvard study that found 85% of creativity capacity is learned behavior, which he said shows anyone can learn to be creative. "Mistakes are the portal to discovery," he said. Linkner pointed to companies that encourage risk-taking by giving awards for the "failure of the year," or giving each employee two "get-out-of-jail-free" cards per year that can be presented to the employee's manager when an idea doesn't work out. He encouraged his audience to role play in their meetings—pretending to be Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, or a Mad Men cast member—as a device to come up with fresh approaches to the problem at hand. He also suggested taking a break from current projects for two hours every week to question assumptions, think about the big picture, or just get outside and visit an art gallery. To read a recent Business Report Q&A with Linkner, click here.—David Jacobs
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