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Creative Or Clueless?

By Art van Bodegraven | 11/08/2015 | 7:15 AM

We, in the abstract, prize creativity. We applaud those who are brave enough to color outside the lines (providing they don't get too far beyond the boundaries). At least we do in many enlightened progressive organizations.

Other, more staid enterprises, falling farther and farther behind in the Great Game of Commerce, work overtime rooting out heresy and shunning the free spirits who break through the shackles of convention and mediocrity. It's a right brain/left brain thing, and the dextrous are emerging as winners in the longer term.

But, the grounded and perceptive non-conformists, if gifted with high EQ and motivated by sustainable success, know that they need—desperately—good soldiers who are laser-focused on staying on the path, and thrive on making sure that others toe whatever the line may be. They are so deep in the box that there is no chance of them thinking outside of it.

And, that's a good thing. (It is vital that others are not permitted to make fun of them; they are people, too, and have feelings.) That said, one must be careful to not confuse talented and committed conformists with the gistless, who surfaced in last week's blog.

They are the ones who aren't even in a box that they might think outside of. And, if they were and if they did, they would not realize their accomplishment in so doing. In short, not being in a box and deliberately getting outside a box are not at all the same thing. Send the not-in-the-box cadre off to your competitors, along with letters of recommendation.

Hey, Forrest Gump was only a movie; real life is not nearly so kind and serendipitous.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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