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Mastering Creativity in Organizations

Andrés Hatum

This book identifies best practices, leadership styles, and organizational structures for the stimulation of organizational creativity, with an aim to help any company – not just companies in creative fields or industries – become an organization in which new ideas flow, new processes are developed, and new products are brought to market. Managers will find case studies describing exceptional organizational creativity and practical takeaways that can be applied in their own firms. Students will find concrete analytical frameworks for thinking about creativity in organizations, and academics will find a different approach to the study of creativity, one that is grounded in practice.
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Andrés Hatum

Toni Morrison, the American novelist, says that if there is a book you want to read and it has not been written yet, then you have to write it. Well, that is the case with this book. The topic of creativity has been a fashionable one in recent years. However, few people have thus far tackled the subject that this book covers: organizational creativity.

When I first started this project it took a great deal of patience and effort to gain access to the companies I needed to study to enable me to explore different aspects of creativity in organizations. I would therefore like to express my gratitude to the firms whose help has been critical to the success of the project: Cirque du Soleil, elBulli, FC Barcelona, El Deseo, SCPF, Fresh Forces, Tetra Pak, Spil Games, Ranelagh Primary School, Voelstapine, and Camper.

My students were the other reason I wanted to write this book. Witnessing my solitary vision become a shared one is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work, and the classroom is a great place to share those ideas and help prepare the next generation of executives.

I also want to thank my proofreader, Brenda Priebke. Paul Norris has also helped me a great deal by revising my last chapters. He first started helping me when I was in England doing my PhD. Thanks, Paul, for your kind help and friendship.

My thanks to Edward Elgar for their faith in this new project, and to Alan Sturmer, my editor, and to Sarah Brown, Erin McVicar and Jane Bayliss from Edward Elgar. To Valeriano Peña, for being in the right place at the right time to help me with my work. To my friends Eugenio Marchiori, Maví Zingoni and Lorenzo Preve, thank you.

To Andrew Pettigrew, mentor, “maestro,” and friend. I can only begin to acknowledge the debt I owe you, for all the guidance and support you have offered me in my professional life. When I finished my PhD in 2002, after my final exam Andrew raised his glass of champagne to me and said: “Andrés, this is just the beginning.” I think now I understand his wise words!

To my friends Santiago, Ezequiel, Guillermina, and Lucía. Without them my world would surely not be as bright as it is. Lifelong friendships.

To my father and his wife, Chafica. It is nice to have them around advising me and sharing my happiness.

To my mother, Hayat. Although she has passed away, I will never forget her. I miss you, Mom.

To Gabriela, Nicolás, Sofía, and Victoria – my lovely and supportive family. This book is dedicated to them.