Creativity in business can be taught‚ experts say

KENNESAW‚ Ga. – “Creativity in business can be taught‚” says Harry Vardis‚ co−director of the…

Georgia (Jan 12, 2006) — Creativity in business can be taught‚ experts say

Terri Thornton

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Contact: Terri Thornton‚ 404−932−4347 or territhornton@mindspring.com

New center at Coles College of Business at KSU is only one of its kind in the Southeast

KENNESAW‚ Ga. – “Creativity in business can be taught‚” says Harry Vardis‚ co−director of the newly−established Center for Business Innovation and Creativity. “Once people learn to expand their comfort zone and take risks‚ they become more innovative‚ and contribute to their companies’ growth.”

The Center for Business Innovation and Creativity‚ established this year‚ is the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Based at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University‚ its co−directors are marketing professor Gary Selden‚ Ph.D.‚ and Vardis‚ who is also President of Creative Focus‚ Inc.

“The world is changing quickly‚ and creativity is essential in all businesses‚” Selden said. “While there’s tremendous pressure to become more innovative‚ there are fewer than ten centers for creativity & innovation in business schools throughout the country.”

The center’s purpose is to equip and inspire students and members of the business community with a research−driven‚ proven way to expand their creative abilities‚ called One Foot Out−of−the−BoxTM thinking. It offers MBA−level courses‚ as well as customized seminars for businesses.

Members of the business community say the center will be an important resource for Southeastern companies.

“Atlanta is emerging as a nationally and internationally recognized hub of innovation in business‚” said Jorge L. Fernandez‚ Vice President Global Commerce at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “The business community is asking for leadership that embraces innovation and teaches the discipline at universities who are trailblazing in this area. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is happy to see that KSU is taking that leadership position.”

The center’s mission also includes research; a comprehensive study is now underway of what the nation’s top 200 CEOs are doing to encourage and instill creativity and innovation in their companies. The study is expected to be ready for publication in April.

The Center for Business Innovation and Creativity is an offshoot of the Coles College’s highly successful Creativity and Innovation Project‚ which began in 2005. Selden and Vardis have previously offered seminars and creativity consulting at large companies including Mohawk Industries‚ World Span‚ Cox Communications‚ Delta Air Lines‚ Verizon and BellSouth.

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Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population approaching 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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