This summary and review of the book, The Rise of the Creative Class…and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life, was prepared by Clinton Burrell while a Marketing student in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
The Rise of the Creative Class is a book written to examine how and why creativity is being used and how important of a role it will play in the economy today. It starts by explaining what and who the creative class is. The creative class consists of people who add economic value through their creativity. Jobs in the creative class consist of professions such as professors, artist, software designers, and architects and many more.
Next, the author moves into explaining how the creative class is transforming everyday life. In this part of the book the author tells how people are getting tired of managers and bosses and want to make their own schedules and express their identities through their work. After that, the author begins to explain creativity as a culture. He describes creative culture as creative ethos. He explains how businesses are less driven by physical power and headed towards mental power and creativity. Then the author goes into what creativity means to the economy and how it has made a big difference thus far.
At this point, the author begins explaining the horizontal labor market which consists of people who shift or change jobs after lack of interest in their current career. He tells how people are no longer as interesting in climbing the corporate ladder and more interested in starting their own projects and seeing the rewards of their work. After this, the author shows and sites ways of managing creativity. Through his research he finds that some company’s try to manage creativity by the amount of hours or adopt Japanese styles of management and actively account for creativity. However he also states that some believe creativity cannot be managed.
Moving along, the author then presents information about the power of place. In this part of the book he explains how jobs aren’t the leading reasons for people moving to different locations. He explains how people look for places that not only offer a job but also places with high quality amenities and experiences, openness, and diversity. In addition to this the author explains how geographically there is a divide amongst the service class and creative class. Places such as Boston, Austin, and San Francisco are some of the leading places of creativity. Towards the end of the book the author explains that technology, talent, and tolerance are the necessary factors to keep a place creatively active and also at the top of the economy. Then, the author explains how people are more interested in what the author describes as creative capitals than social capitals. He states that nowadays people are becoming increasingly disconnected from one another and their communities, and are more interested in what a place has to offer to them that would suite them personally and financially.
Lastly the author explains how the creative class will grow and the members will slowly become aware of it. All in all the book gives readers insight to the creative class and is predicted rise to the top of the economy.
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from The Rise of the Creative Class
1. Creativity is essential to the way we live and work. It is also multifaceted and multidimensional.( not limited to technology innovations or new business models)
2. Creative people experience time blur. How people organize and use time is changing, people work when they are suppose to be off and play when they are suppose to be working
3. People are now striving to work more independently and are finding it harder to cope with managers and bullying bosses. People are beginning to want to shape their own work, control there schedules, and express there identities through work.
4. People are getting bored with there career jobs and branching out horizontally to more creative economic jobs. Even people with high tech jobs are switching trying different markets but using skills from there previous job to experience building something and watching it grow.
5. People nowadays identify more with there profession than with there company. People now bare more responsibility for there own career and have to continually do research and learn ways to keep up with competition in fast pasted industries.
6. Some try to impose bureaucracy and look at hours of employment put in to manage creativity or mock Japanese style management and actively manage and account for creativity. Some insist that creativity cannot be managed and all you can do is hire talented people.
7. Jobs were the main reason for people wanting to live and work in certain places. Now, people look for different things like high quality amenities and experiences, and openness to diversity.
8. The geography of creativity has taken on two trends: new geographic sorting along class lines and centers of creative classes are more likely to be economic leaders.
9. Technology, talent, and tolerance, are the 3 T’s of economic development. Each of these are necessary but alone are insufficient. They are needed to attract creative people, generate innovation and stimulate economic growth.
10. People are becoming increasingly disconnected from one another and from there communities. (Evident in loss of family bonds, friendships, neighbors, and declining participation in community organizations and churches.
Full Summary of The Rise of the Creative Class
Introduction of the Creative Class
The Rise of the Creative Class is a book written to examine how and why creativity is being used and let loose. It starts off explaining how creative people have changed the world in the last 50 years and then goes on to breaking down what creativity is, who uses creativity, and where you can find people using creativity. All in this entire book describes what the author, Richard Florida describes as the Creative Class. The Creative class is consisting of people who add economic value to a company through their creativity. People in this class engage in work whose function is to creative meaningful things. The class can be divided into two main components, The Super Creative Core and the Creative professionals. The Super Creative Core consists of people who design products and then are widely made and sold. Jobs in this category would be Professors, poets, novelists, artists, editors, architects and leaders of society. The creative professionals engage more in the problem solving area. Professions in this category include financial services, legal and health core professionals, and high tech sectors. People in the creative class are different form the service class and have different values in there work. The creative class values individuality, meritocracy, and diverse & openness. Not only will these value affect how they creative class works, it also helps determine where these people decide to work and want to work. On average people working in the creative class make about 50,000 a year. More than the average of the service class worker.
Transformation of Everyday life
Next, the book explains how everyday life has been transformed by the creative class. The creative class works in what the Florida calls the No-collar work place. The No- collar workplace consists of artist, musicians, professors, and scientist. This workplace is replacing traditional business hierarchy. People are beginning to self manage themselves, seek peer recognition, and use intrinsic forms of motivation. People are striving to work more independently and are finding it harder to cope with managers and bullying bosses. Nowadays people are wanting to be able to learn and grown in the workplace. They want to be able to shape the content of there work, control schedules, and express identities through work. If business doesn’t start to incorporate ways to give these opportunities to their employees, these businesses will start to fade away.
Then the Author goes on to explain something called the time warp. Creative people experience a blur of time and how people organize and use time is changing. People work when they are supposed to be off and play when they are supposed to be working. This is because you can not turn creativity off and on and a pre determined time. However, creativity itself is and odd mix or work and play. For example, writing a book, or producing a work of art take long hours of concentration. But then require hours to relax and think of ideas.
Moving along, the book goes into describing what creativity is and how it is becoming somewhat of a culture. The author describes this culture as Creative Ethos. (Ethos is a fundament spirit or character of culture) It’s stated to get a grasp off creative ethos; we must look at creativity itself. Creative is defined as mental process involving the discovery of new concepts and new ideas. However the author looks at 3 points about creativity to grasp creative ethos. The first thing is that creativity is essential to the way we live and work. Nowadays more and more work is becoming based on mental power rather than physical power. People are using there brains more than ever and are producing inventions that are knocking a lot of manufacturing jobs out. Second, is that creativity is multifaceted and multi dimensional. This means that creativity is not limited to technological innovations or new business models. Lastly is the concept of creativity versus organization. The creative process is a social so forms of organization are necessary but, the elements of the organization stifle creativity.
Creativity has been observed in subjects ranging from eminent scientist and artist to preschoolers and chimpanzees’. (It’s everywhere) This is so because creativity is drawn from ordinary abilities: noticing, remembering, seeing, speaking, hearing, understanding language, and recognizing analogies. Creativity is what distinguishes humans from other species. Creativity is based on working with physical objects to create something useful and other species do the same. Ants use dirt to build their mound and birds use twigs and stems to build nest. We as humans do the same however we had different ways of doing the same thing with the capacity to think outside the box.
Horizontal Labor Market
Moreover, the author goes into what he calls the Horizontal Labor Market. The horizontal labor market consist of people getting bore with there careers and branching into more creative economy jobs. People start out at high tech jobs with good salaries and benefits and then realize that they don’t feel complete. They get bored working hard with little time off and never seeing the true results of there work. Individuals want the opportunity to exercise their creativity and build things, experience the whole cycle of having ideals, putting them into action, and seeing the rewards.
People are tending to pursue there careers horizontally more so than vertically. Climbing up the corporate ladder is no longer so popular. Partially because the corporate ladder doesn’t exist in there place of work. In addition to this, people are beginning to identify more with there profession than with the company they work for. Plus, People are becoming more responsible for there careers as a whole. People are having to do new research and learning to stay up with competition in fast paced industries. All of this extra work going unpaid.
Management of Creativity
After this, Florida goes on to describing the management of creativity. Some try to impose beau racy and look at the hours put in by employees. Others seek more predictable procedures of eliciting creativity. Some mock Japanese style management and actively manage and account for creativity. However, Some insist that creativity is cannot be managed and all you can do is hire talented people.
Power of Place
Next Florida goes on to explain the power of place. He wanted to figure out what made people decide where they want to live and work, and what really matters in this decision making process. Most people say jobs however the creative class is moving away from traditional corporate communities and moving to what the author calls creative centers. Creative centers are economic winners of our age. The have high concentrations of creative class people and high concentrations of economic outcomes in the forms of innovation. Some people look for places with nice shopping malls, sports stadiums, and tourism. The creative class does not. These folks look for abundant high quality amenities and experiences, and openness to diversity. They want an opportunity to validate there identity.
Geography of the creative class
More over, the geography of creativity is examined in the book. Two major trends were explained. The first is new geography sorting along class lines. Some communities consist of the creative class while others live in areas more populated by the service class. The author states that this divides should be monitored because the service class and creative class may clash in the future on economic decisions and so forth. The second trend is that the centers of the creative class are more likely to be economic winners. Places that are big economic centers are Washington D.C., Raleigh Durham, Boston, Austin, and San Francisco.
Technology, talent, and tolerance
Now, the author moves into what he calls the three T’s of Economic Development. These three T’s are technology, talent, and tolerance. Each one of these is necessary but by itself is insufficient. These are used to attract creative people, generate innovation, and stimulate economic growth. High technology will help generate economic growth and attract creative people. People want a place that is cutting edge and up to date. The talent aspect fuels the innovation and creativity that goes into the latest technology and designs. As for the tolerance, it sets a foundation for economic growth by inviting more different types of creative people into an area. Each of these sort of coexists and relies on one another to make this work accurately.
From Social to Creative Capital
On another note, the book explains that people or moving from social to creative capitals. In the past people moved to and worked in places that suited the socially. The wanted to feel comfortable around there neighbors, live near family, and feels safe. Now days, people are becoming increasingly disconnected from one another and from their communities. This is evident due to the numbers of people losing family bonds, friendships, neighbors, and declining participation in community organizations and churches. The type of communities that the creative class is seeking is one that generates economic prosperity and this is different from how people sought out places in the past. Traditional notions of what it means to be a close cohesive community tend to inhibit economic growth and innovation
The Creative Class Grows up
As the creative class grows member will become aware of it. The members of the creative class today need to see that their economic function makes them natural- indeed the only possible, leaders of the 21st century society. Being that the class doesn’t yet have the awareness of itself, as a class, that is needed to be the leaders. For now the creative class will just continue to grow and define themselves by there differences.
All in all, the book gives the reader insight to the creative class and its predicted journey to the top. Its touches on all the aspects of the creative class consisting of where they will live, what type of jobs the have and seek how they work, and what kind of people are more prone to be creative. In addition to that it looks at creativity itself and show how much it affects not only the business world but also how it affects communities, relationships, and everyday life.
Why I think:
The author is one of the most brilliant people around because he realized that creativity is one of the most driving forces in the economy and that creative people should be monitored and grouped into a class. By deciding to focus on people being creative to be successful in the economy is genius because today less and less jobs are service oriented or require physical labor. Nowadays it’s all about brain power and the ability to use your brain better than others. By monitoring the creative class and investing in it people will see a boost in the economy like Richard Florida states, and I agree. With out intelligence and creativity there wouldn’t be much of anything. Creativity is what drives leading companies and keeps them going. Creativity is the future.
If I were the author of the book I would have done these things differently
1. I would have given more real life situations in regard to people moving in the horizontal market as well just workers in the creative class.
2. I would have spent less time explaining the service class and more time on the creative class. The book is somewhat a comparative book comparing the creative class and the service class and the past to the present and though it helps I feel like too much emphasis was put on UN needed topics and I would have left some of them out.
3. Last, I would have given more examples of jobs and professions that require creativity. I feel like a lot were left out and that it would have been interesting to see jobs that I didn’t expect to involve creativity.
Reading this book made me feel differently about the topic in what ways…
1. First, I would have to say that I never thought of creative people on a wide scale not to mention as a class. The amount of importance creativity plays in our economy is something that I never noticed and I will now pay more attention to it.
2. I also now feel differently about choosing palace to live. The values expressed in the book about what people in the creative class consider before choosing a job and location are some values that I may now use in the future when choosing a job.
3. Lastly, my views on working have changed. After reading the book, I am almost certain that I would want to start my own business or at least be a part owner. Not having a boss or manager sounds pretty good to me.
I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:
1. First I will apply what I learned about choosing a place to live with a thriving creative class in my career choice. I would want to work in a place that has high innovation, other creative people, and new technology.
2. Next, I will apply the concept of unlimited research. Nowadays business men and women have to do additional new research just to stay up with competition in fast paced markets and I plan to do the same. Regardless to my job I plan to do outside research so I can be the best businessman I can be.
3. Last, I will take what I learned about horizontal markets and possibly try to open my own business. This is what people are switching to rather than trying to work there way up corporate ladders.
Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book.
Interestingly enough, most of the reviewers stated that if you are reading the book, you probably are part of Richard Florida’s creative class. Its said to be a good book for people in this class who are about to set out and find jobs and careers. They go on to explain that this would be good for job seekers since it pairs people finding themselves with there jobs. It is also said to outline tectonic shifts for individuals, organizations, communities, and companies do to the rise of this creative class.
“Book Review: the Rise of the Creative Class.” The New Colonist, Chronicling the Return from Suburbia. Web. 06 May 2010. .
Florida, Richard L. The Rise of the Creative Class: and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. New York, NY: Basic, 2002. Print.
“The Rise of the Creative Class — Analysis, Summary, Critique, Overview, Review.” Onsite Microsoft Project 2007 Training, 2010, 2003, , Electronics, Construction, Architecture, Real Estate, Environmental/Energy, Government, Medical, Health-Care, Biotechnology, Retail, Food. Web. 06 May 2010.
Contact Info: To contact the author of this Summary and Review of The Rise of the Creative Class, please email Clinton.email@example.com]
David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/.