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Creativity in Arts and Business

Looking to the future we can see change and development in so many ways both in life and at work. And as I was contemplating this, I reflected on how a creative mind-set will play an important role in dealing with what is happening. So I would like to share a few thoughts about the importance of creativity in business.

Creativity is normally associated with the arts, as something playful and nice to have, and usually not linked with good business practices.  However, creativity is needed in all walks of life, I would say now more than ever. Not only because of the changes Covid has imposed on us by moving the goalposts about how we work, but because of changes everywhere in society as a whole: Changes in technology, just to mention the most obvious, but also changes in values, priorities and beliefs about diversity and equality, especially in a younger generation. On top of this we have climate change that is rapidly gathering momentum. The only way we will have a sporting chance of keeping up with this exponential pace of change is through finding creative solutions to new problems – many which are not yet even recognised as being problems.

Most businesses are becoming more mindful of the need for gender and cultural diversity in management and around the board table. But to be truly successful cognitive diversity needs to be in the mix too. Organisations tend to engage experts to solve difficult issues. But the problem with experts is that they have a lot of knowledge of a small number of solutions, where perhaps a more creative approach, unencumbered by predetermined ideas of perfect outcomes, might produce hitherto untested but ultimately more effective results.

Creativity can be messy but perhaps corporate organisations need to elevate the importance of creative skills within the management team, to the same level as sales management or accounts management, and invite people with true creative ability to design strategies for solving what has previously only been considered ‘business’ problems.

A valuable lesson to be learned from the arts is that on a conceptual level the artistic creative process is about courage to do something that has never been done before; to constructively deal with the unknown. I believe creativity is no longer a ‘nice to have’ in an organisation, but an imperative element in solving current problems, and in providing the imaginative powers to identify and anticipate future challenges.

In the world of art and entertainment we are used to seeing the term creative director or creative producer in connections with new work. Perhaps, in addition to the CEO and the CFO, the corporate world needs to adopt a similar practice and create the position of CCO: Creative Chief Officer.

#leadership #professionaldevelopment #creativity

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