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How to inspire and promote a culture of creativity by shaking things up

Terri Swartz

Terri Swartz, dean and professor of marketing for the College of Business and Economics

  • July 12, 2011 5:00am

Under Google's 70-20-10 rule, technical staff were asked to spend 70 percent of their time on core activities, 20 percent of their time on secondary business pursuits and one day each week in a different room or locale, just so they could focus on new ideas. Yet all too often, companies put the kibosh on telecommuting or non-traditional work schedules that break up daily routines and actually encourage forward thinking.

California Smart Business interviewed Terri Swartz, dean and professor of marketing for the College of Business and Economics at California State University, East Bay, on the activities and behaviors that inspire and promote an innovative culture. Read article.

"Creative leadership is about giving people permission to dream and encouraging them to try something different,”said Swartz. "You get there by shaking things up and not letting employees settle into the status quo."

Activities could be as simple as holding meetings outside traditional conference rooms or asking participants to sit in different seats. Even changing the menu in the cafeteria and altering the background music in the office on a regular basis, will encourage employees to anticipate and embrace the unexpected.

“Although investments in dream time and allowing employees to roam the property may not produce immediate financial rewards, there’s no doubt that encouraging innovation will yield dividends in the future," said Swartz.

Princeton Review has rated Cal State East Bay as one of the country's 300 "Best Business Schools" for five consecutive years. 

San Francisco Business Times has recognized Dean Terri Swartz among the "Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business" for two consecutive years. 


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