Cisco Networkers 2008 opened with the motto ‘Ignite Innovation’ and few people have come closer to doing that than the day two keynote speaker, Charles Leadbeater.
In 2005 Accenture ranked Leadbeater as one of the top management thinkers in the world and his credits include advising former U.K. premier Tony Blair, writing books such as Living on Thin Air, providing consultancy to Vodafone, Microsoft and others and helping devise Bridget Jones’s diary.
At Networkers he encouraged delegates to think outside the box about thinking outside the box.
“We’ve been told that creativity comes from special people in special places—labs, science parks and so on—and if you want more creativity, you take more special people and put them into more special places,” he said. “I think that’s wrong. Most innovation is not about being creative.”
What really drives innovation, Leadbeater believes, is seven Cs: crisis, curiosity, combination, conversation, co-evolution, challenge and commitment.
As this year’s Networkers draws to a close, it is fair to say that at least six of those seven Cs have been here in abundance. Let’s hope there are no crises on the way to the airport.