Serious decline in UK creativity, says report

British creativity has fallen into serious decline, according to claims made in a new report commissioned and published by The Identica Partnership.

It says the innovators of Britain today, such as restaurateur Terence Conran, vacuum cleaner designer James Dyson and wind-up radio inventor Trevor Bayliss, are rare compared with past pioneers such as television’s creator John Logie-Baird and engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. “The spirit of innovation so prevalent in the past has failed to embrace modern-day British business in the same way,” says the report.

Carried out by MORI, the survey – Creativity in the Workplace: Where Ideas Mean Business – says only a quarter of the 100 companies surveyed have creative representation on their boards. This is despite agreement by 81 per cent of them that it is important to do so. Only 9 per cent of respondents to the survey have a director specifically responsible for creativity.

The report urges companies to shun the pin-striped suit stereotype of UK companies. It quotes Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare as saying, “There are a lot of boring pin-striped people in our institutions. You’ll have to kick ’em to death before they work properly.”

Identica managing partner Michael Peters says: “The Prime Minister quite rightly wants the UK to be the ‘workshop of the world’. However, the reality is that today’s UK does not live up to its glorious tradition of innovation. Creativity has been neglected for far too long… unless business overcomes its complacency about creativity and starts making it a priority, the UK will no longer be a serious player on the industrial world stage.”

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