Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

SMC speaker series features Jim Wardlaw

10/12/2017 - 10am
Jim Wardlaw

Southwestern Michigan College’s Academic Speaker Series continues Thursday, Oct. 26, with 1980 Dowagiac Union High School graduate Jim Wardlaw’s lecture, “Creative Thinking: A Crucial 21st Century Workplace Skill.”

Wardlaw, owner and chief change agent for Stitch Brand and Culture in Buffalo, N.Y., holds a master’s degree in creative studies from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. He has been in Buffalo since 2012.

Wardlaw, who grew up at Dewey Lake, speaks at 1 p.m. in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on SMC’s Dowagiac campus. His talk is open to the public free of charge.

A recent Bloomberg/Business Week study of job recruiters showed a majority identified creative problem-solving among the top five skills for success in today’s workplace.

But the same recruiters said creative problem-solving was also the second-most-difficult skill to find among job applicants after strategic thinking.

Numerous studies agree, in today’s fast-changing, volatile work environment, creative thinking is one of the most crucial skills for professional success.

So where can you learn to improve creative thinking?

In his fast-paced talk, Wardlaw shares practical insight and some big-picture thinking about creativity, innovation and how each of us is born to transform the world.

An award-winning entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience in brand management, strategic marketing, creativity, sales and business management, Wardlaw earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Michigan State University.

From 1995 to 2007, he served as CEO/principal of Publicom Inc., a full-service marketing communications firm in East Lansing that specialized in service brand management for clients throughout the Midwest.

Following the firm’s sale, he held executive positions with McLaren Health Care Corp. in Flint and Lifestyle Lift in Troy.

Stitch specializes in developing executive teams in strategic execution, entrepreneurial leadership and cultivating innovative, collaborative organizational climates.

Wardlaw is a Reactor for the University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a Certified Entrepreneurial Operating System Implementer, adjunct faculty at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College and holds certifications in VIEW, KEYS, LPI, FourSight and SOQ.