No longer is creativity relegated as a function of marketing and innovation teams, or a talent specific to artists or musicians. It is now in high demand as a necessary and critical skill for business leaders and managers. LinkedIn identified creativity as the Number 1 soft skill required by companies in 2020. It was also rated as one of the Top 3 required skills for workforces in the recent Future of Jobs study conducted by the World Economic Forum. Interestingly, an independent study by Forrester Consulting determined that companies who foster a culture of creativity enjoy greater revenue growth than their peers, have a larger market share, and gain more recognition as a best place to work.
Why the sudden demand for creativity? If the past year has taught us anything, it is that change can occur quickly and in unexpected ways. Creative thinking and actions are the best way to navigate through these changes. A culture of creativity encourages a continual process of challenging existing norms and responding to change in an immediate, innovative, and successful manner. Quite simply, creative businesses find ways to succeed in a time of crisis.
Creativity does not require businesses to invent the next innovative product or develop groundbreaking technology. It does require business leaders to adopt an attitude of continuous improvement and develop the ability to successfully adapt to change. Businesses utilize creativity to determine new methods for interacting with customers or suppliers, and how they manage a changing workforce. It will cause some companies to outsource more and some less. It may determine a new specification for excellence and quality for services or products. Business as usual is no longer enough, and developing a creative culture allows organizations to go beyond existing norms.
Creative companies are the result of creative employees. Individuals who possess creative skills will experience greater opportunities. Because numerous studies have shown that creativity is a learned skill, organizations will seek training programs to increase creativity among existing employees. Creative managers will find themselves being elevated to senior management positions within companies. More than ever, companies will value creative individuals who can participate in the development of new products, new services, more efficient processes, and improved employee programs.
With rapid changes certain to continue, developing a culture of creativity — and embracing creativity as a skill — set will be necessary to the success of both businesses and individuals.
Brian T. King is the founder of multiple businesses encompassing design, construction, real estate and manufacturing. A well-respected construction industry CEO, Brian enjoys offering guidance to young professionals, rising managers and entrepreneurs on a variety of topics – from personal and professional growth, to work/life balance – through his bi-weekly blog, national podcasts, and speaking engagements around the country.