Event: Capitalizing on Creativity, or how to lead creative talent

Dr. Edison Liu, CEO of The Jackson Laboratory and a jazz pianist, will lead a seminar on Wed., June 5, about harnessing the creative talents of your employees. (Photo provided by MCC)

I imagine it’s often difficult for business leaders to harness the talents of very creative people. I consider myself somewhat creative, and so just have to imagine what it’s like to manage me.

I’m often focused on the art of my writing rather than the stark reality that I have a deadline, the story needs to be published online now, and the newspaper with my story in it will be in the recycling bin by the end of the day tomorrow.

But creative types are obviously a valuable asset for every business. New ideas are born from creative minds.

To help managers who want to harness the potential of their creative employees, the Maine Center for Creativity is hosting a seminar for you on the evening of Wed., June 5, at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus.

Dr. Edison Liu, CEO of The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, will facilitate a seminar called “Capitalizing on Creativity: How to Lead Creative People.”

According to a news release, Liu, himself a jazz pianist, will answer such questions as “How do you harness the talents of creatives and keep them on track with the goals of the company?” and “How can you foster the right environment that encourages new ideas?”

In a 2010 IBM report, 60 percent of CEOs ranked creativity as their top leadership skill, according to MCC.

“Creativity drives business and adds value to both customers and the bottom line,” Jean Maginnis, MCC’s executive director, said in a statement. “Most business thought leaders agree that having creative thinkers in their organizations is important. However, many people don’t know how to best utilize these talented people once in place. The real challenge comes in effectively leading creative people.”

The seminar is part of the Creative Toolbox seminar series, which is a collaboration of MCC and USM, and is designed to provide resources, advice and insight to Maine’s creative entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The seminar will take place on Wed., June 5, at USM’s Glickman Library in Portland from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The seminar costs $35 for the general public who are not members of the Maine Center for Creativity, though attendees can become a member for the price of admission and receive their first seminar free. The cost is $15 for members, USM alumni, and non-USM students with student ID. Current USM students receive free admission.

Space is limited. Contact intern@mainecenterforcreativity.org for more information and to register.

Whit Richardson

About Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.