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Are you and your organisation prepared for a world where creativity is considered among the top workplace skills?

Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw PHD - Thursday, April 21, 2016

In January the World Economic Forum released its 2016 report entitledThe Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it they suggest that by 2020, creativity will be third on the list of top ten workplace skills. Over the last few years there has been a plethora of research demonstrating the importance of creativity in the workplace. In 2010 IBM’s global report calledCapitalising on Complexity identified creativity as a core leadership competency. In 2011 The Society for Knowledge Economics Australia produced research that showed that high performing workplaces have leaders who provide intellectual stimulation by encouraging creative problem solving. In 2012 The Institute for the Future produced a white paper entitled Future Work Skills 2020 identifying novel and adaptive thinking (i.e. creative thinking) as being near the top of the list of essential skills for the future workforce. There’s plenty more, but you get the picture.

In a very short time creativity, which for so long has not officially had a seat at the boardroom table, has now become the honored guest. That is not to say that critical and analytical thinking are any less important but simply that they are no longer enough. Solving complex issues requires an amalgamation of different kinds of thinking, a synthesis of both critical and creative thought as well as the skill of knowing when to switch tracks.

The good news is that we are all perfectly capable of doing that. Our amazing brain is highly responsive if we nurture it in the right way and provide it with some helpful tools. In the same way that our muscles develop strength and flexibility when we go to a gym regularly, our brain develops creative capacity when we practice creative thinking. And to continue the analogy, just as having purpose built equipment at a gym can help a workout, using well-crafted cognitive tools can help with developing our creative thinking skills.

In the past people have used well known tools such as de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats and SCAMPER to assist with creative thinking. But in a world which is more complex and where we know so much more about brain function and the art and science of creative problem solving, it is time to start using the next generation of creative thinking tools. One of these is a model called StrateGEE®. It was originally developed by me as part of my doctoral research into how people develop expertise in creatively solving complex, ill-defined problems. Since then it has gone through many iterations and updates and is now a practical scaffold for facilitating workplace creativity and problem-solving.

The key message is that we need to get better at thinking creatively if we want better outcomes in a complex, fast moving world. The big question is ... are you, your teams and your organisation prepared for a world where creativity is considered among the top workplace skills? Most of the research suggests that there is a huge skills gap in this area.

To help address the creativity skills gap, I have developed a corporate creativity program called StrateGEE® Creativity. It includes:

  • A psychometric assessment tool that helps people identify their preferred approaches to creative problem-solving and how this influences their decision making and behaviour.
  • A personal creative thinking development plan using the StrateGEE® framework.
  • Team analysis revealing:
    • Natural team strengths and weaknesses in creative problem-solving.
    • Strategies for teams to bolster their creative problem solving.
    • Insights into developing effective team functionality, decision making and cohesion.

“Great tool! One of the key wisdoms from the Ancient Greeks is to “know thyself”. To truly know yourself and identify your strengths and weaknesses is incredibly powerful. The StrateGEE® Creative Thinking Style Preferences tool does just that. It is a simple and structured method that brings self-awareness about the type of ‘creative thinker’ you are and what traits typically represent you. Most importantly, it is adaptive and doesn’t ‘pigeon-hole’ you, but rather gives insight into how you can evolve your thinking. It then goes a step further to help you develop and capitalise on that. With this important knowledge, you can get the best out of your team, your peers and yourself.”
S. Duke, Senior Manager Sustainability. North Queensland Bulk Port Corporation.

If you can see the writing on the wall and want to be proactive about developing creative, high functioning teams then take the first step by requesting your information pack here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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