I used that term in my just released Foundations of Excellence book. I did a search on the term Creative Age and all I came up with was creative ways of aging. So, if anyone else says the Information Age turns into the Creative Age, remember you heard it here first!
The combination of automation, smart materials, and deep machine learning (often called AI) is wiping out job families and both people and companies must adapt. This transformation has already started and, as Kevin Kelly says in The Inevitable and Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler say in Bold, most jobs of today will be obsolete and most jobs of tomorrow have yet to be created. Great companies see that and are taking steps to enable the Creative Age.
Attached is a chapter from Foundations of Excellence where we see the first moments of a new college grad entering a great company grappling with this transformation.
Dan sat in the lobby and waited, along with several others, for new hire orientation. He clutched his new hire paperwork and looked around the BusComp lobby. His eyes fell on a large framed vision statement. He read, “BusComp Enables You to Create!” He frowned. He knew that BusComp’s customers were primarily other companies and he wondered at the terse wording.
A sharply dressed man came to the lobby. “New hires, welcome to BusComp! Come this way.” The man led the new hire group into a conference room. “Take your seats. I am Sam Martel, the head of BusComp Human Resources.” He looked up and smiled. “You can call me Sam the Man.”
The group chuckled. Dan looked left and right and noted that all but one of his new colleagues were young and, he suspected, new college graduates. He wondered what he would see his first week on the job. Dan made it a point to remember the moment, the first moment of the first day of his working life.
Sam the Man circled the table and personally shook everyone’s hand. Dan was impressed that Sam looked him straight in the eye and said his name as he greeted him. Sam went to the front of the room and turned on a projector. The vision statement filled the screen.
Sam turned to the group. “BusComp is transforming how companies do business.” He pointed to the vision statement. “Every one of our customers, the companies we serve, is our partner. We remove all of the IT – information technology, database, and machine learning analytic obstacles they have in doing their business. We remove those obstacles so they can focus on their core: creating great products and services. BusComp enables you to create!”
I get it, Dan thought. He glanced left and right and saw smiles. He realized he was smiling himself. Sam Martel, who Dan would forevermore view as Sam the Man, used the pause to let the BusComp vision sink in. Sam’s enthusiasm was infectious.
“Welcome to BusComp,” Sam said again. “We are the best at what we do. No company, anywhere, does what we do as well us.” He advanced a slide. “If you don’t believe me, I’ll provide a demonstration.” He pointed to a bar chart that showed eight years of steady growth. “Our best customers are our best salespeople. Our customers tell both their suppliers and their customers about BusComp and our services. That’s why we grow!”
Sam gave the group additional paperwork and led them across the hall to get their new picture badges. When they came back into the conference room a tall man in a navy blue suit was at the screen. He smiled as each sat down and then introduced himself. “I am Si Rutler, the CEO of BusComp. I want to personally welcome each and every one of you.”
Dan was stunned. BusComp had over four-thousand employees. Dan felt special to be welcomed by the company’s top leader on his first day.
“What we do is enable the future,” the CEO said. “Seventy percent of today’s jobs will be gone in ten years. Seventy percent of the jobs ten years from now don’t exist today. What we do know is that the creatives – the companies that master creative innovation – will lead the world. Those are our customers.”
Dan sat up straighter in his chair. He always wanted to be part of a great organization. His heart pounded with the intoxicating feeling that BusComp was where he was meant to be.
“We go the extra mile to provide the right solution to our customers,” Si continued. “We take the repetitive tedious work away so our customers can use their data, not endlessly analyze it.” He pointed to a framed copy of the vision statement. “The first thing customers see when they enter our lobby is our pledge to them. We Enable You to Create!”
BusComp’s CEO then shook everyone’s hand. Dan felt Si Rutler lock eyes with him as he clasped his hand. Si Rutler had a firm handshake and a genial smile. “Dan, I can’t wait to see what you can do!” Si then asked. “Do you ski?”
Dan stammered. “Uh, yeah! I love skiing.”
“Great!” He turned to all. “See my assistant for BusComp discounted ski passes. Maybe I’ll see you on the slopes this year.”
The CEO again stood in front of the group. “In case you’re wondering, I grew up in Wichita and am a Kansas City Chief’s fan so if it’s a Monday after the Chiefs win, I’m in a good mood. If the Chiefs lost, wait till Tuesday before asking for something.”
The group laughed. Si Rutler laughed with them. “All of you,” Si said, “can take great pride of being part of something we all think is pretty special. Welcome to BusComp!”
Dan smiled. He knew he’d have a lot to learn but he also knew this was a great start. In the first moments since entering his new company he shared both Si Rutler’s and Sam the Man’s pride at being part of BusComp.