I attended the World Economic Forum in Davos for a dozen years and yes, it is very exciting, to be cheek to cheek with the global elite. I found that the orthodoxy expressed in the big, opening speeches were almost always wrong. But the insights revealed in the smaller meetings were usually right.
At this Davos meeting, the key them is “Resiliency.” In the face of what I call a VUCA world in my forthcoming book, Creative Intelligence, Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, Ambiguous, speakers are saying we need to build resilient organizations. “Resilience” is a hot topic in corporate circles. But punch into the idea and you come up with little. Resilience for what? Survival. Stasis. Stability. And how do you become resilient? Be agile, flexible, fluid. We know that already.
A better Davos theme would be Creativity. Creativity takes you somewhere. It is at the heart of economic value and growth. It requires a set of competencies that most business people don’t already know–or have forgotten. It gives you the tools to be more than resilient. It enables you to discover, scale and progress.
But what is going on inside the meetings where you do get insights? Plenty. Financial Times US editor Gillian Tett reports that cybercrime is super-hot. Corporations are under constant attack but are afraid of asking governments, including Washington for help. Tett says the situation is similar to the financial crisis swerve just experienced. Many people in banks saw bad things happening that would inevitably lead to a blow-up but didn’t want to go to the government for help. Individually they were scared but collectively unwilling to act. Cybercrime looks very much like that to her today.
Tett is using an explanatory frame from one crisis that she covered as a journalist to help her understand and predict a future crisis. Framing is a critical competence of Creative Intelligence.