Why Creativity Is A Skill
Why Creativity Is A Skill
Creativity has been a skill in the World Economic Forum’s future skills for decades.
Creativity Is A Skill Of The Future And Here’s Why
It has been suggested by Linkedin that creativity is the number one skill that employers search for in their job posts and top magazines have noted that CEO’s sight it as one of the most important skills for employees to have.
So why is creativity a skill?
It’s a skill because it can be learned.
It’s also a skill because it can be applied to real life situations and business scenarios to create solutions to problems.
Creativity is often thought of in advertising and marketing where it’s used to come up with unique angles for commercials etc. to hook and gather the interest of viewers.
However, creativity can do more than just turn heads. It can unlock innovation.
Creativity, as a skill in the 2020s, is about reimagining much of the way we do things to come up with better ways to use resources, recycle resources, provide greater access to people in need and overall improve the way we do things by applying our imagination to making the world a better place.
Creativity Is A Skill For Business
When applied to a business, creativity must have some element of commercial direction. That creative solution you’re producing must be aligned with the goal of the business. Simply being novel could lead the business a long way astray.
So, in a business sense, creativity is coming up with new ideas and solutions that can bring sustainable positive results to the business, whether it’s financial, organisational or marketing.
In that sense, the concept of creativity has come a long way. There was a time when creativity was only perceived as art or inspiration. Now, creativity has a real place in many business contexts.
Why Do Businesses Need Creative Skills?
Adding A New Competitive Advantage
Businesses today are all about innovation, and creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. If you’re running a business, you don’t want to have a rather stale and unappealing product or solution that no one wants. With so much competition out there, businesses need to step out of their comfort zone, explore new solutions, and come up with unique products or services that can create a buzz in the market.
And who else is better at stepping out of their comfort zone than creative people? There’s a rather outdated belief that businesses that have the best technology will come up with the most innovative solutions. This is actually far from the truth. Businesses that have the most creative employees will come up with the most innovative solutions.
To an extent, innovation is dependent on your business technological resources, but innovation is actually impossible without creative minds driving their vision behind it.
We’re not trying to start a ‘Tech vs Creativity’ debate. That’s a whole other conversation, and an irrelevant one to some extent. Tech allows businesses to develop the functions of a product, but behind that product’s idea and purpose must be a creative skillset. If your business doesn’t have creative people working on product/service ideas and solutions, then it’s most likely that your product won’t have any impact on the market.
The business environment is changing rapidly. Not too many years ago, it was enough to just lower your prices to beat your competitors. But economic conditions have changed, and so have consumer preferences. Markets are now saturated, which means that there’s plenty of similar products out there. If you want to buy a smartphone, it’s not just Samsung and Apple anymore, there are hundreds of quality brands to choose from. It’s the same for almost every other product.
So, how does a business stand out in such a saturated and competitive market? The answer is they realise creativity is a skill they can leverage. Whether it’s about designing unique product solutions, solving complex business problems, or coming up with new ways of marketing, creativity is the best and probably the only way for your business to stand out in the market.
When a business has a team of creatives, it gets to solve problems faster and easier than ever before. It helps you discover unique ideas that will keep users interested and engaged, which is vital to business success. In fact, one of Google’s reasons for success has been to “hire smart creatives”, as Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Google puts it.
By being creative, you can stay one step ahead by uncovering what people need before they need it. You can push the boundaries while also retaining your own style.
Creativity Can Boost Business Productivity
There’s a rather stereotypical belief that creative people are mostly lazy or laid back. It could be due to the fact that they always tend to come up with the easiest and simplest solutions. However, having creative people in your business can actually help your productivity.
When your team sees creativity is a skill, you’ll instantly notive there’s a lot of engagement within the organisation. Exploring new ideas, thinking outside the box, constant brainstorming, are just some of the elements they can introduce to an entire organisation. These factors motivate every team member to push themselves and do their best. You can even see that a single creative person will bring out the creativity in others.
Having creative minds in your organisation is like having individuals who are constantly thinking about progressing your business.
Rather than hindering productivity, creativity actually enhances it in three ways: fueling innovative thinking, creating a culture of experimentation, and connecting employees to a meaningful mission… There are ways to structure creativity to mitigate potential risks and maintain momentum toward overall objectives.
Moreover, business creativity makes people feel appreciated. It helps their personal and professional growth, knowing they are surpassing their limits and expectations as they come up with something new and exciting.
But the best thing about business creativity is that it encourages healthy feedback generation and collection. Without feedback, it can be very hard to figure out what you are doing well and where you are going wrong.
When you are creative, you are bound to make mistakes and that makes it easier to accept and understand feedback at the highest possible level. Done well, this has the potential to boost workplace morale while also pushing your mind and ideas towards new perspectives.
Creative Skills Stretch The Possibilities Of Reality
In a competitive and changing environment, businesses are bound to face challenges. It can come from any area within a business. It could be related to marketing, maybe you’re not being able to reach your target audience, or it could be financial challenges where you’re finding it hard to make the business model work.
To creative minds, problems or challenges are seen as opportunities to improve the situation. They aren’t afraid to fail, which makes them motivated to tackle bigger and more complex challenges. This is a borderline difference between creative and non-creative employees. You’ll often see them taking on challenging projects with unrealistic deadlines, and pitching ambitious ideas during meetings.
Creative minds often see hidden problems or challenges in a business. These are the problems that might not be affecting your business now, but will surely cause issues in the future. They have a tendency to foresee these issues and challenges. Not just problems, but also opportunities. Such individuals have a growth mindset and genuine curiosity, where they’re always looking for ways to improve the business.
Steve Jobs said
“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”
This quote actually sums up how creative minds work in a business.
Creative Skills are The Job Currency Of The Future
There are two aspects to any business, the day-to-day operations, and making, often new and novel, effective decisions. Today’s businesses have an abundance of technology to perform those day-to-day repetitive tasks like data entry, invoicing, managing payroll, documenting inventory and so on.
What they don’t have in abundance is the creative skills, which drives effective decision making. Software can provide and process important data, but you need creative minds to turn that data into something meaningful – to extract the insights that make gathering data worthwhile in the first place.
For the last 30 years or so, businesses have been so focused on growing technology, they rarely focused on the need for creative and human skills. But now that technology is constantly available and easily accessible, businesses are starting to realize the need for such skills.
A recent example is chatbots. Lots of business thought leaders predicted that chatbots would replace human customer service. However, they found out that chatbots actually work better in collaboration with creative human agents. Technology can only supply accurate information, while creative individuals can reach deep down to a human level and resolve conflicts with empathy.
Or, take marketing for an example. Google or Facebook will tell you how to target large audiences, but how to influence them and make them interested in your business will depend on the creative mind that’s designing the ads. So, having creative people onboard actually makes your technology work better, otherwise you’re just stuck with a load of information but no working solution.