Professor Per Olof Berg, Head of Marketing Section, Stockholm University School of Business, gives the 2012 Richard Normann lecture for Green Templeton College.
'Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution' - Albert Einstein 1921 It is generally assumed that modern management is a rational knowledge-based activity following a set of logical actions to produce an outcome in the most efficient way. However, as indicated in the quote from Albert Einstein above, knowledge cannot replace imagination driven by intuition and inspiration when it comes to embracing the whole world, stimulating progress and giving birth to evolution. In his lecture professor Berg will show how imagination over the years has become increasingly important in order to understand business and manage organizations. The lecture will start by referring to Richard Normann's early work on the importance of business logics, and his later recognition of the existing of multiple logics, such as the service dominant logic in the eighties and the concept of innovative value constellations in the nineties. In all his work, Richard Normann emphasized the importance of imagination as a driving force behind business strategies. The second part of the lecture will examine the challenges businesses are facing today, and propose a complementary perspective based on the managerial efficacy of imagination. The consequences of this 'imagination perspective' for business and management will then be examined.