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Creativity often gets lost when we focus on all the tasks we need to accomplish each day. In this rush to “do” things, we are losing out on so much, including imagination and creativity. Without fostering these abilities, how could we have soaring cathedrals and beautiful art? How could we have innovative companies that are changing the course of the future through technology, research and determination?
When we lose creativity, we are losing the part of a business or organisation that can grow and adapt to change, and it means we can find ourselves at a dead-end, devoid of talent and without a route to success.
When you ask people how creative they are at work, what do people usually say? The answer probably depends on the profession the person has. An artist or musician might say they are very creative, but a CEO or manager might just stare at you and shrug.
Some jobs simply don’t leave much room or leeway for creativity. The list of tasks to complete each day might read like a check-list of sorts, and there isn’t an opportunity to expand or even improve on this check-list.
What happens when an organisation becomes infatuated with checking the boxes on these lists? Creativity is one of the first things to be forgotten, but this is likely to become a fatal flaw for the company, slowly festering until the problem cannot be ignored any longer.
Without creative juices flowing between staff members, performance and innovation will start to melt away, and the most talented and creative staff members will probably also disappear, off to greener pastures where their brains are valuable and useful.
According to the Future of Jobs Survey 2018, creativity is a skill which is already high in demand, and creativity is projected to be even more necessary by 2022. Businesses have had to adjust their expectations regarding workforce skills which are now needed. Leaders are seeking employees who can develop new ideas and find creative solutions to problems their organisations may face.1
People have been using their creativity to solve problems for eons, from developing new weapons to discovering uses for medicinal plants and herbs. Why do so many leaders and managers seem reluctant to encourage creativity in the workplace?
You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.
When companies encourage people to be the best version of themselves possible, they are encouraging and supporting creativity. Teaching others the value of mindfulness, laughter and humour can make a huge difference in the office. Leaders should support their employees in their quests to improve their brains by allowing them to do creative things, both in and out of the workplace.
It isn’t enough to merely open your mind to being creative, it’s important to practice being creative. Consider it a “use it or lose it” skill, and leaders should recognise how difficult it is to be creative when the people who work for them are bogged down with menial tasks which chain them to desks inside for hours at a time.
McCabe Curwood, an Australian law firm which values core principles such as courage, integrity and excellence, recently hosted an event called ‘Leading with Laughter’. I was very excited to be the keynote speaker and facilitate this workshop. It was encouraging to see the all attendees improve their creativity by understanding the importance of taking time for themselves and what mindfulness can truly do for the brain.
It is always a joy to help others learn a new way of thinking which can stimulate and fan the flames of creativity. Leaders of the future must be well-practised in using their creative brains, but so many organisations are slow to recognise the value of creativity. McCabe Curwood is seeking to create an environment where people can grow into leadership positions while becoming the best versions of themselves.
Read more about their vision and how supporting a brain-friendly culture could boost your organisation.
As we start 2020 and leave an entire decade behind, we should reflect on the past and focus on the goals for the future. Science is now telling us how important creativity is in leadership, but will we choose to listen? Will we support leaders as they endeavor to take more risks and embrace creative thoughts?
When we invest in the development of creativity, we are investing in the possibility of the future. Creative solutions are required for some of the most pressing issues humanity faces, from global economics to the effects of climate change. While every organisation has different needs and requirements, a common thread between all of us is that creativity is now sought after and desirable in our workers, from leaders on down the ladder.
Creativity Labs, such as the event at McCabe Curwood, can offer a chance to make changes which can usher in a new way of thinking. The rest of the world is demanding talent with a creative brain--are you keeping up?
1. World Economic Forum. The Future of Jobs Report 2018. World Economic Forum, 2018.
These Stories on Leadership & Culture
Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute
Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.
Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.
Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership
In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.
Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.
Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.
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