Tudor Rickards

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Tudor Rickards at Uppsala Creativity Day 2009, Uppsala Sweden

Tudor Rickards (born 1941 in Pontypridd, Wales) is an author on creativity and leadership in business and management. He is based at Manchester Business School in the UK, where he is Professor of Creativity and Organizational Change.[1]

By the mid-70s he had established international contacts. A collaboration with Horst Geschka at the Battelle Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, lead to a joint publication comparing practices and deficiencies in the application of creativity techniques in the UK and in Germany. Furthermore, he participated in most of the European creativity conferences a speaker or active participant. During this time he intensively worked on the development of networks enabling European creativity practitioners to work together and explore alternatives to the dominant US models.[2][3]

He co-founded the academic journal, Creativity and Innovation Management, in 1991[4] and is Alex Osborn Visiting Professor at State University of New York, Buffalo, a lifetime position offered to scholars who are deemed to enrich teaching at the University’s Centre for Studies in Creativity.[5]

Rickards is regularly quoted in the British media.[6][7][8][9] He is a pioneer and advocate of the ‘Manchester Method’ – the system of creative and applied learning championed by Manchester Business School – on which he has written widely.[10][11][12]

He was an early promoter in Europe of the TRIZ system of creativity and idea generation, inviting TRIZ pioneer Dr Phan Dung to speak at EACI (European Association of Creativity and Innovation) conferences[13] and publishing some of the first papers in English by Dr Phan Dung on the subject in Creativity and Innovation Management.[14]

Challenging traditional models of creative thinking, leadership, problem solving and team building, Rickards’ research has been described by The Financial Times as non-traditional.[15] The influences and inspirations for his insights and research are diverse, and include chess, poetry, sport and politics. He is developing the use of non-traditional fictional modes for exploring issues in leadership theory.[16] The world of nature has also been a powerful source of inspiration, with well-publicised work on intelligent horsemanship[17][17] and the lessons it offers for the workplace, and profiling management and leadership styles using animal behaviour.[18] His work has been criticised for attempting to learn lessons from studying animal rather than human behaviour.[18]

Rickards was educated at Pontypridd Boys’ Grammar School and went on to study chemistry and radiation chemistry at The University of Wales at Cardiff (now Cardiff University). Following post-doctoral research at New York Medical College[19][20] in the 1960s, he returned to the UK to work in the R&D department of Unilever Laboratories,[21] based in Port Sunlight, Merseyside, UK.[22] It was there that he became interested in creativity and its role in structured problem-solving systems, and from there that he joined Manchester Business School in 1972.[23][24]

Rickards contributed as keynote speaker at the 1st National Medical Leadership Conference of the Mersey & North Western Deaneries, Reebok Stadium Bolton, 10 March 2011,[25] and at the Institute of Directors[26] North West annual conference on Leading through Change, Manchester, 22 March 2012.

In August 2010, Rickards contributed to an eBook collection of political poems entitled Emergency Verse – Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State edited by Alan Morrison.[27]

Rickards has been appointed to the board of international advisors to the Institute for Creative Management and Innovation, Kinki University, Japan.[28]

His recent media contributions include the BBC Radio 4 documentary Oblique Strategies, broadcast on 13 June 2013, examining a technique developed by Brian Eno for stimulating creativity.[29]

He was the guest speaker for the 2014 Alex Osborn memorial event at Buffalo State University on the theme of Dissecting Creativity. The interview was conducted by Gerard Puccio, chair and Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity [ICSC] at Buffalo State University. The annual event honors the life and work of Alex Osborn who did much of his pioneering work on stimulating creativity at ICSC.[30]

In March 2015, Rickards took part in a keynote introduction to the ARTEM Organizational Creativity International Conference[31] in Nancy, France, on rethinking paths on creativity to move organizations towards sustainability.

On 17 April 2015, Rickards co-presented Taking Tough Decisions: A Creative Problem-Solving Approach with Dr Rebecca Baron (Associate Dean General Practice Health Education North West) at the Fifth National Medical Leadership conference[32] at the Macron Stadium, Bolton.

In 2015, Rickards began his first self-publishing project which culminated in the release of the eBook "The Manchester Method: A Leaders We Deserve Monograph" [33] which is based on over a thousand posts originally published on his blog, Leaders We Deserve, over the period 2006-2015.


  • Rickards, Tudor (1974). Problem Solving Through Creativity. Wiley. p. 198. ISBN 0-470-72045-X.
  • Rickards, Tudor (1997). Creativity and Problem Solving at Work. Gower Publishing, Ltd. p. 240. ISBN 0-566-07961-5.
  • Rickards, Tudor; Clark, M (2006). Dilemmas of Leadership. Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 0-415-35584-2.
  • Rickards, Tudor; Runco, Mark A.; Moger, Susan (2008). 978-0-415-77317-1 The Routledge Companion To Creativity Check |url= value (help). Routledge. p. 400. ISBN 978-0-415-77317-1.
  • Rickards, Tudor (2011). Dilemmas of Leadership (2nd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-61854-1.


  1. ^ http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/mbs/tudor.rickards/
  2. ^ Gryskiewicz, S., (1992) Letter from America (With respectful acknowledgement to Alistair Cooke), Creativity and Innovation Management, 1,4, 214–215
  3. ^ Van de Meer, H., (2006) Conference Report ECCI-9 Creativity and Innovation Management 15,1, 120–122 doi:10.1111/j.1467-8691.2006.00376.x
  4. ^ http://www.wiley.com/bw/editors.asp?ref=0963-1690&site=1 With Susan Moger
  5. ^ http://www.visions-digital.com/visions/200809/?pg=21
  6. ^ "The trouble with blue sky thinking". BBC News. 2010-04-26.
  7. ^ http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/143/143758_studying_law_of_nature_in_the_office.html
  8. ^ Beckett, Francis (2002-02-19). "A nose for business". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  9. ^ http://www.iht.com/articles/2001/04/07/mold_ed3_.php
  10. ^ "Horses for MBA courses". The Independent. London. 2004-10-21. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  11. ^ http://www.ejel.org/volume-2/vol2-issue1/issue1-art23-drinkwater.pdf
  12. ^ See also p xviii in Educating Managers Through Real World Projects by Charles Wankel, Bob DeFillippi, Robert Defillipi, published by IAP, 2005 ISBN 1-59311-370-6 for reference to Rickards' work in this area.
  13. ^ http://www.eaci.net/EACI_-_European_Association_for_Creativity_%26_Innovation/Home.html
  14. ^ http://www.osaka-gu.ac.jp/php/nakagawa/TRIZ/eTRIZ/eforum/ePhanDungForum990708.html
  15. ^ Financial Times, 20 September 1996
  16. ^ http://leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/recent-research-into-leaders-to-the-tune-of-the-eton-boating-song/
  17. ^ a b Russell, Ben (2001-01-08). "Managers learn Hollywood-style horse whispering". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  18. ^ a b "Can we learn from the apes?". The Independent. London. 2004-05-06. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  19. ^ ^ Rickards, T., Herp, A., & Pigman, W., (1966) The kinetics of depolymerization of hyaluronic acid by l-ascorbic acid, and the inhibition of this reaction by anions of the lyotropic series, J of Polymer Science Part A-1 Polymer Chemistry, 5,4. pp 931–934
  20. ^ http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/mbs/Tudor.rickards
  21. ^ See http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=AU&NR=8289775&KC=&FT=E for example of patents applied for while working at Unilever.
  22. ^ http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/views/obituaries/2008/09/18/obituary-richard-duggan-64375-21844124/
  23. ^ Alan Pearson, founding editor of http://www.rndmanagement.info/ R&D management journal invited him to join MBS to study creativity techniques in R&D laboratories. The work was subsequently subsumed by the INCA programme (Innovation through Creative Analysis. See Pearson, A., (1989) Twenty-one years of research into the Management of R&D, R&D Management, 19.2 99–102
  24. ^ J.F. Wilson The Manchester Experiment: A History of Manchester Business School 1965–1990, SAGE Publications Limited, pp92-93
  25. ^ http://www.merseydeanery.nhs.uk/graphics/nwe_Medical%20Leadership%20Conference%20Flyer%20%282%29.pdf
  26. ^ http://www.iod.com/home/default.aspx
  27. ^ http://www.therecusant.org.uk The Recusant eZine
  28. ^ http://www.kindai.ac.jp/sangaku/kenkyu/icmi
  29. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02qncrt
  30. ^ https://leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/dissecting-creativity-interview-with-tudor-rickards/ downloaded 13 March 2014
  31. ^ http://artemocc2015.sciencesconf.org/
  32. ^ https://www.nwpgmd.nhs.uk/medical-leadership/national-medical-leadership-conference
  33. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Manchester-Method-Leaders-Monograph-ebook/dp/B00V4WB1VK

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