Michael Roberto View Profile

Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University

Too often, senior leaders in organizations of all kinds hear “yes” when they offer an idea or a proposal, said Michael Roberto.

“In many cases, people are afraid to express dissent when a strong, charismatic leader already has put their view on the table. My argument is that the effective leaders who can make the best decisions are the ones who do welcome that dissenting point of view,” he said.

That has been a central idea in much of Roberto’s work, and it’s also a notable theme in his work on unlocking creativity.

Many creative individuals working in organizations today encounter resistance to new ideas, much as the path-breaking artists, scientists, and inventors have experienced throughout history. Experts reject their ideas and defend the status quo. Leaders exhibit closed-minded behavior when newcomers challenge the conventional wisdom or question established practices.

But at the same time, leaders claim to prioritize creativity, said Roberto.

Currently a Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University, Roberto is a preeminent authority on strategic decision-making, senior management teams, and neutralizing hidden threats to organizations.

He has studied how interpersonal dynamics cause catastrophic organizational failures (such as the Columbia Space Shuttle accident and the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy) and how to structure decision-making processes for success.

He helps senior executives build the consensus that successful implementation of a strategy requires and uncover potential disasters before they destroy your strategy.

Many large firms are facing a growth crisis today, with revenues increasing slowly or even shrinking. These organizations do not lack talented people with original ideas. They lack an environment in which these people can flourish.

Leaders claim to want bold, transformative ideas, yet obstacles to creativity arise at every turn. Roberto has worked to explore six distinct organizational mindsets that inhibit creativity – and what to do about them.


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