Creativity has as much a part in business as in arts and culture

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 May, 2009, 12:00am

The Taskforce on Economic Challenges has recommended, among other things, the development of creative and culture industries as a new growth engine in Hong Kong.

As the founder of InnoFoco, a service innovation consulting and training company, I believe creativity should not stop at the arts and design but should be the lifeblood of every business and society.

While Hong Kong wrestles with how to develop creative industries, more policy makers have shifted their focus from creative industries to a creative economy or a creative city. If Hong Kong is to make the paradigm shift into a creative economy and be a creative city we need to do a better job of defining what creativity means in Hong Kong's context.

Do we just mean to develop the 13 creative industries that were identified in the government's 2003 study? Or do we want to go further and push for a broader objective to inject more creativity into the entire business sector, government and society?

Hong Kong is the most service-oriented economy in the world. Its people pride themselves on their flexibility, resourcefulness and an ability to adapt to new ideas. Developing Hong Kong as a creative economy could help transform the city into a service innovation hub for China, Asia and beyond. It could also reignite the entrepreneurial spirit of our young generation many of whom face unemployment and career derailment.

Hong Kong should have the most innovative trading companies, tourist attractions, retailers, restaurants, logistics operations and financial service packages and also the most innovative health care and education systems.

The city has strong fundamentals but will need to shed some of its 'middleman' mentality. It needs to take a more long-term view of business. It has to invest more in understanding the needs of customers and in making its service offerings not just efficient but emotionally appealing by integrating design into the core.

Hong Kong has to reinvent itself to stay relevant in a new world order. Simply put, creativity is the synonym for survival. It is a lot more than the creative and cultural industries.

Rachel Chan, Central