Who is the most creative person you know? Now think of the same question in a business context; which person or group of people would you generally see as being creative and which less so? A series of studies by researchers at Duke University in the States has come up with some interesting conclusions about the way in which we view some people as being more creative than others.
More specifically, the research indicates that people generally associate creativity with more ‘masculine’ traits such as risk-taking, ambition and competitiveness. The researchers tested their theories in a number of different ways, all of which pointed towards a perception bias that men were more creative and innovative.
What implications does this have for business? Well according to the researchers, this may go some way to explaining why men get promoted faster than women in some business sectors but it also has implications for those who are looking to instil a culture of innovation within their organisation. Innovation shouldn’t be seen as the preserve of one group over another, nor should it be confined to certain jobs or positions. But when business leaders are looking to appoint the innovation leaders who will help to spread the innovation culture throughout the organisation, if there is an unconscious bias towards one sector or another then the culture may be skewed before it has a chance to take effect.