The Creative Imperative

2nd October 2019 - Drew Rowlands

We are living in a time when the rate of change seems to be increasing exponentially.

Technological development today far outpaces what we have previously known. This positions the current business landscape towards a future of uncertainty. The work of José Esteves, of IE Business School, describes this context as VUCA; volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous¹. Today, jobs such as nano technician, vertical farmer and big data architect are some of the most in demand jobs – jobs which did not exist 10 years ago. Will children in schools today be entering jobs that currently don’t exist? How will AI, automation and digital disruption effect our industries? These are huge challenges facing UK businesses, who must learn how to prepare for, and be agile to this level and type of change, and equip our workforce with future skills.

Those competencies that make us creative are the same ones that will make us resilient to change and agile to the uncertain times in which we live. The World Economic Forum report of 2018 suggests that the 3 most in demand skills by 2022 will be:

IBM’s global survey of business leaders states creativity as the most important leadership competency for the future; The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have announced they will introduce Creative Thinking assessments in schools across the world from 2021 to sit alongside Reading, Writing, Science and Maths as they recognise the importance of this competency to our future. As our education planning adapts, so must our workforce retrain, as it is those creative teams, adept in critical and creative thinking and innovation, who will thrive.

It is therefore imperative that governments, policy makers and business leaders look towards equipping those they are responsible for, with the knowledge, skills and understanding of what creativity is, and how everybody has the potential to be creative.

This means the vast majority of our workforce need to re-learn how to be creative; how to generate ideas without constraint; how to make connections between diverse contexts. We must be comfortable with ambiguity; embrace failure as part of the learning process and therefore grow in resilience; take calculated risks; question and challenge in order to create new solutions; collaborate effectively in order to drive productivity. These are the new skills required of the workforce, and the new parameters of employability. Learning and development must be taken into account, empowering the workforce through training and retraining.

These are all qualities IVE are passionate about and have spent the last 22 years researching how to develop effectively in others. In the training we offer, we look to demystify the term ‘Creativity’ and to unlock the capacity so that ideas might be generated without constraint. We also examine the behaviours that are needed for creativity to be developed and explore how to establish the right environment in order for creativity to be nurtured. As part of this process we explore mechanisms that might be used in order to apply creative thinking and problem solving in an organisation wide basis. Building empowered teams who embrace new challenges.

Research has shown that 98% of five year olds have genius levels of creativity, but by the time they reach adulthood this has reduced to a meagre 2%². In our training we seek to prove that the opposite is also true and that creative behaviour can not only be learned, but also taught. To achieve this we offer a blend of activities and materials that are aimed at deconstructing the barriers built on the journey to adulthood so that ideas might be generated without constraint, opening up the imagination to the new possibilities we need to explore, in the new contexts we face.

“The challenge for many employers is embracing the change that comes with creative thinking. Being open to change is the way forward, testing out ideas and then adjusting realities in our current climate can include threats as well as opportunities, at IVE we are here to help you with that.”
Drew Rowlands – Deputy CEO at IVE.

For information and quotes on our training for business, please contact SharonL@weareive.orgkjds

 [1] Land/Jarman 1993

[2] López Lubián, F. & Esteves, J. (2017). “Value in a Digital World: How to assess business models and measure value in a digital world”. Palgrave Macmillan – Video version of Esteves work here.

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