I love this topic but thought I'd take a little twist on it today. After 16 years of a successful career in technology, I left corporate America in 2001 feeling stifled, sad and beaten down by the mini-recession that followed the tech bubble. Although we were a young, vibrant company I realized that the larger we got, the less creative we became and the less willing we were (or our lawyers were) to think outside of the box.
Since then, I've begun to work in a much more creative industry and I love it. I've had a few larger corporate clients but usually if I suggest something creative, it gets shot done because it might interrupt the process - I get that and I respect that. However for most bigger companies to continue to succeed, they will need to inject tolerance if not encouragement for creativity on the job. And cherish that creativity when it happens.
I worked for a start-up in the early 1990's and we had some really creative thinkers on our team. These were guys who were technologists, but were able to think with both sides of their brain. So for me, creativity in a corporate sense always makes me think of Paul, Shankaren, Ken, Salli...and many others. We got the job done, but got it done in a new and fresh way. I've realized over the years it's easy to be creative in a creative profession, but to be creative in the corporate world takes real talent.
Here's how we defined creativity back in the day: