duminică, 23 ianuarie 2011

The New American Dream

The key factor going largely unheeded is the rise of creativity as the central force in economy. Without great waves of new products, technologies and industries, the economy would barely have grown since the dark days of the 1970s and early 1980s. Innovation does not come magically from an invisible hand. It comes from people. In recent history, the number of people doing creative work has exploded. Those in creative occupations – from engineers and designers to artists and writers to higher-end planners, analysts, managers, and other creative professionals – now comprise more than 30 percent of the workforce. Creative-sector workers today outnumber blue-collar workers. And the creative sector of the economy accounts for nearly half of all wages and salary income – $1.7 trillion dollars per year and it adds trillions of dollars to the country’s GDP. The rise of the creative sector has also changed the way people work, as well as their expectations.

The real key to driving the economy forward and completing an emergent creative system does not lie in financial incentives alone but in summoning innovation – human creativity.[1] During the Internet bubble and dot.com bust, stock options and financial incentives were offered to motivate creative people, but they proved to be useless. Peter Drucker said that one cannot bribe the knowledge workers on whom certain industries depend. They have to be treated as if they were volunteers whose commitment to the organization is contingent. Creative people respond to intrinsic rewards. They are trying to enact their personalities in their creative work and it is a mistake to think they are motivated by financial incentives. Every worker wants to feel challenged and motivated. Peer recognition, the power of the teamwork, tough challenges, flexibility and stability motivate them. Creative people want the freedom to work on their own terms and their own time.

[1] FLORIDA, Richard, “The New American Dream.The economy will prosper again when more Americans can do the work they love. The party that realizes this first wins”, http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0303.florida.html