Let’s recall some of the world’s greatest inventions from the wheel to the founder of electricity, Sir Thomas Edison, and more recently the continual exciting developments in digital technology to enhance client experiences and increase the ability for business to perform. These discoveries and innovations were, and continue to be, inspired by creative thinking and we believe that being able to think of new ideas and rapidly adapt to change is a considerable benefit and necessity in every great organisation.
“Creative thinking is the ability for thought to break clutter and spark new ideas. Combine this with the initiative to continuously improve and the grit to overcome numerous challenges, these are highly valuable personal traits.”
As we experience business unusual in an ever-increasing competitive environment, the ability to establish new ways of doing things is nurtured a lot more now than in the past. In the past, many people were quite content in continuing to do things the same way and it worked at that time, until clients and consumer habits changed. Thankfully, that mind-set is in the past and currently the freedom to change the old way of doing things and create new smarter solutions is embraced, which has successfully enabled the rapid adoption of digital disruption. When considering future job necessities, thinking creatively is strongly considered as being one of the top talents.
In saying that, are our aspirational youth being skilled, mentored and nurtured to think creatively? Do the current educational institutions create learning environments that enable our existing and future generations to flourish in the future way of work?.
“As technology further reshapes business needs, both individuals and countries will have to address ongoing skills gaps,” writes Meir Brand, MD of Google Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Traditional education is often badly equipped to develop dynamic skills in students. Most schools and universities are teaching a 20th century education to young people who will need cutting edge 21st century skills.” Creativity is one of those cutting edge skills.
“Our task is to educate the whole being, so that they can face the future…” Sir Ken Robinson
A TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson makes an interesting case for an education system that nurtures the ability to think creatively and mentions interesting ideas for curricula of the future (Robinson, 2006):
- The rapid evolution of business is creating a world where simply performing a routine job well is not enough to support smart organisations. Employees need to be agile in their thinking in order to translate ideas into smart solutions.
- Creative thinking is bred in an environment where mistakes are allowed. Being creative is not the same as making mistakes however, if we are not prepared to let our employees make mistakes and learn from them, smart innovative solutions are harder to come by.
- Education and skills training needs to be future focused. Methods that engage students in all aspects of their learning are more likely to produce graduates able to fulfil the roles available in the organisations of tomorrow.
By no means will the ability to think creatively solve all the challenges facing our youth. What it will do is provide youth with the ability to offer organisations new and insightful perspectives; aid in developing aspiring and entrepreneurs in creating new job opportunities and enable innovative intrapreneurialship within existing organisations.
InterestingFact: Many Executives including Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama all stimulate their ability to think creatively and seek clarity especially when formulating important business decisions, by stepping out of their routine settings and taking a walk outdoors.
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Robinson, S. K., 2006. TED Talk. [Online]
Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tedspread
[Accessed 28 January 2017].