Professor Mike Roberto in AIC
Professor Mike Roberto’s new book shines light on the path to “Unlocking Creativity”
Jan 07, 2019

SMITHFIELD, RI Is creativity the domain of a rare breed of “creatives” with special talents and mystical powers to decode secrets and solve problems? Or, can “mere mortals” working within organizations learn to tap their own creative potential and passion for their brands to generate truly ground-breaking ideas and disruptive innovations?

In his latest book, Unlocking Creativity: How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions by Shifting Creative Mindsets,” launching Jan. 7, Trustee Professor of Management Mike Roberto explores the creative process and how organizations can foster innovation. He believes that leaders do not need to generate more great ideas or hire more creative talent, but rather “they must clear the path so that curious thinkers throughout their teams and organizations can experiment, learn, and discover.”

"Leaders must clear the path so that curious thinkers throughout their teams and organizations can experiment, learn, and discover.”

Roberto has studied some of the most admired and accomplished individuals (such as Leonardo DaVinci, Édouard Manet, and Mark Twain) and organizations (including Apple, Amazon, IBM, IDEO, Intuit, Spanx, the Beatles and U2) to identify key elements and processes that led to their breakthrough ideas and marketplace success.

With captivating stories and analysis, "Unlocking Creativity" inspires readers and provides specific examples and methods for creating cultures of innovation and experimentation, specifically:

  • Recognizing the six organizational mindsets that impede creativity and innovation
  • Learning how to tear down the barriers that obstruct the creative process
  • Creating an environment that allows talented people to thrive
  • Encouraging creative collaboration in teams throughout an organization

Where it began

The journey to “Unlocking Creativity” began seven years ago, when Roberto and his Bryant faculty colleagues recognized the need to enhance the creative capabilities of students. “We had to prepare them better for a changing workplace and turbulent environment. Our team did not believe that creative capacity was a fixed trait. Instead, we embraced the notion that creative capabilities could be nurtured,” writes Roberto.

“The students’ ability to generate breakthrough solutions to perplexing problems in a matter of days always amazes us. We find the experience both exhilarating and inspirational.”

That realization led Bryant’s IDEA (Innovation and Design Experience for All), an immersive, three-day “boot camp” experience that teaches students the design thinking method pioneered by global design firm IDEO. It's a way of thinking, problem solving, and creating that changes their approach to learning and creates a foundation for success at Bryant and beyond.

“The students’ ability to generate breakthrough solutions to perplexing problems in a matter of days always amazes us. We find the experience both exhilarating and inspirational.”

Roberto’s years of experience teaching, researching, and management consulting ignited his curiosity to explore the most effective ways for organizations to nurture creativity and foster new ideas. Through "Unlocking Creativity" he gives access to valuable, actionable insights that everyone can apply to help spark creativity and get results. 

Michael Roberto is a Trustee Professor of Management and Director for the Center of Program Innovation at Bryant University. He came to Bryant in 2006 after serving six years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. Professor Roberto has written over 30 case studies used in business schools, including the bestselling Everest Leadership and Team simulation and an award-winning multimedia case about the Columbia space shuttle disaster. He previously published two books, including the business bestseller, "Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for An Answer." Professor Roberto received his doctorate from Harvard Business School in 2000.

Related Stories