Creativity may be a false idol

Your cover story, ‘Swimming against the tide of received wisdom’ (MW 5 January), explored the need to unleash the power of creativity to drive growth in stagnant markets and to employ more people at board level who truly understand human behaviour.

While intuitively I applaud this, I’m critically aware that we run the risk of being seduced by our own overconfidence in the power of creativity to predict future success.

Similarly, when Phil Rumbol cites ‘intuitive originality’ over ‘analytical mastery’ as the key to competitive advantage, I would argue that ‘intuition’ is rarely to be trusted, unless it is from an expert, and is often simply ‘recognition’ of certain cues from years of past experience.

As an industry, we have to get away from the obsession of polarity. Pinning all your hopes on creative magic dust, or innovation, or analytics, is no more likely to bring you success than blind luck.

Chris Pearce
Chief client officer
TMW

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