21st November 2002 - The Rise of the Creative Class

In "The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida, a new economic power is defined as Creativity. Using a tremendous amount of statistical evidence, Florida makes a good case of how the Creative Class is becoming increasingly powerful in corporate and everyday life. Having surpassed the Working Class in numbers by 1999, the American Creative Class, which consists of 38 million Americans employed in jobs such musicians and authors combined with architects, computer designers and engineers, thus is only surpassed in numbers by the "Service Class".

In his book Florida provides statistical evidence of the values and behavior of the Creative Class, and furthermore leaves no doubt how the class in Porter terms has a significant bargaining power in terms of supplying knowledge workers to corporate life. In this context Florida voices caution to get carried away in the vision of "Free Agent Nation" by Dan Pink’s which according to Florida only accounts for a fraction of the actual desire and behavior of the workforce; hence Florida’s vision is rather that of the corporate culture existing under a heavy influence of the Creative Class. This means that work place and time will change into more flexible and less controlled environments where creativity flows as an effect of human structured and chaotic interaction.

Another finding of Florida is that the Creative Class seems to be drawn to areas where the three T’s are present, namely: Technology, Talent and Tolerance. He stresses that organizations need to understand the ethos of the Creative Class in order to benefit from its potential in the Creative Economy.

In general a very recommendable book that is a must read for anybody interested in understanding the forces in an innovative environment. However, I would not necessarily agree with Florida in naming our time as the Creative Age.

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Updated 2002-11-21

 
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The official homepage of Morten Middelfart and CALM. Computer Aided Leadership and Management (CALM) is an inspirational speculation on where mankind may be heading in the quest to leverage computer potentials for helping individuals and organizations to self-actualize their symbiotic potentials.

The time frame for this well-informed and provocative speculation on relatively near-term and more distant potentials is clearly within mankind's grasp. Dr. Middelfart argues persuasively that within the next one or two decades, symbiotic links with "intelligent machines" will surely leverage people's potentials, far beyond all human progress to date!

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