Are Our Politics Creative Classy?

24 01 2007

Walter Jones, GA state bureau chief for Morris News Service, advises the creative class on how creativity-killing the “leadership” of power politics has been :

“Author Richard Florida has some observations. At the top is the need for leaders to foster an environment where members feel secure and confident to be creative. Florida’s argument is that it takes creativity to solve complex problems facing society or a business. The more people supplying creative suggestions, the better the solutions are likely to be.

Perhaps that’s intuitive, but just as intuitive is the traditional “chain of command” model in which the person at the top sets the direction and the people below do what they’re told. The way to foster creativity … is to encourage everyone to have a voice, to feel comfortable offering their own quirky opinions, even the weirdoes, the nerds and those in the minority.

They’ll be encouraged as long as what he calls the “squelchers” are kept in check. These are the naysayers, the guardians of the status quo. No one likes to be put down or have his or her ideas minimized.

The natural reaction is to stop offering suggestions when they’re repeatedly belittled or ignored.

“When you put that set of horrendous work conditions and external factors together, it creates an evil barrel. You could put virtually anybody in it and you’re going to get this kind of evil behavior. . .It’s not the bad apples, it’s the bad barrels that corrupt good people.”

— eminent situationist psychologist Philip Zimbardo

. . .We took women students at New York University and made them anonymous. We put them in hoods, put them in the dark, took away their names, gave them numbers, and put them in small groups. And sure enough,

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