Friday, October 18, 2013

Quote of the week: Cellbio, on creativity

I love this comment at In the Pipeline about creativity and medicinal chemists by Cellbio:
...However, there are clear drivers of organizational creativity that can be consciously built, enforced and which do positively impact creativity. And when in place, it also becomes evident that while there are more and less creative individuals, contributions to creativity can and do come from all angles, often by people outside of the depth of field under discussion because they have a fresh perspective. 
The drivers are a culture where ideas have no hierarchy, where managers are skilled at management and artfully disappear from moments of team success, where "leaders" are not modeled of off academic PIs where the presumption is the final scientific say sits higher in the organization, where teams have the strongest voice, where the breadth of the team is exposed to strategic goals not just tasks, where failure is safe and when safe to fail honest opinions about the potential of projects frees people to change direction and pursue ideas with merit instead of advancing toward goals that meet career objectives and satisfy internal metrics of success. 
WIth a unyielding belief in this and never wavering, creativity can be cultivated. And perhaps, the high jump analogy is incorrect in that success of highly functional drug discovery teams can be driven by one foot jumps by many members. I think the concept of productive creativity is too narrow if one assume's that creativity stops when the target or NCE is "discovered". Perhaps this contributes to our industry failings as I am quite sure drug discovery from this point forward requires as much or more creative energy.
The part about "strategic goals" reminds me of the German military concept of Auftragstaktik, where subordinates are told the goal to accomplish, their assigned resources and the timeframe, not how to accomplish the goal.

Have a great weekend! 

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