Batten Institute

Charles "Chic" Thompson



Bio: Chic Thompson is an internationally renowned speaker and author on creativity. He has worked extensively for many U.S. and foreign corporations, including UTC, McGraw-Hill, Accenture, and the Young Presidents Organization. He has also worked with such U.S. government agencies as the CIA, the FBI, and NASA, and has helped schools develop stronger creative thinking skills. Early in his career, he worked in new-product development and marketing for W. L. Gore and associates (the maker of Gore-Tex), Johnson & Johnson, and Walt Disney.

He is the author of What a Great Idea! (HarperCollins, 1992) and Yes, But…: The Top 40 Killer Phrases and How You Can Fight Them (HarperCollins, 1994). His career and life experiences were also the subject of a 2001 case study published by the Harvard Business School. During the last 20 years, Mr. Thompson has given more than 2,500 presentations and has teamed up with talent ranging from Tom Peters and Steven Covey to Cirque du Soleil and Second City. He has also been a team teacher for several courses at Darden and is an adjunct faculty member at the Brookings Institution.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia.

Expertise: Creative Leadership 


Fellowship Focus: As a Batten Fellow, Chic Thompson worked on four overlapping projects on the topic of “creative leadership.” With his Faculty Host, Jim Clawson, and with Batten Fellow Michael Gelb, he developed an executive education program on creative leadership for delivery in 2005. The trio taped an introduction to this project for National Public Radio. What is creative leadership? Mr. Thompson, Professor Clawson, and Mr. Gelb think of it as the ability to develop imaginative and productive ways to get people to do what you want them to. Mr. Thompson’s experience writing about creative thinking and teaching that topic around the world and in various agencies of the U.S. government brought depth and perspective to the project.

Contact Info

Appointment: 2004–2005

Publications & News

Books include:

What a Great Idea! 2.0

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