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Creativity and survival
Creativity is no longer a feel-good, luxury item of “the creative class” but an essential (and learnable) skill for your entire organization.
When it comes to surviving as an organization, here’s the tough news for your company: As the global marketplace continues to become more and more competitive, those jobs and enterprises that a machine can do faster or someone else can do cheaper will go the way of the dinosaur and the dodo bird.
Here’s the good news for your company: Companies that invest in developing their team members’ creativity will foster cultures of innovation, cultures with the ability to shape shift and morph to take advantages of rapid changes and unforeseen opportunities in the marketplace.
Organizational survival through the eyes of Charles Darwin
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. –Charles Darwin
In business, as it is in life, it’s not your strength nor your intelligence but your ability to change the determines the survival of your organization.
Is your organization able to adapt, to shape shift to see an opportunity and opportunity in something new as opposed to approaching it in a habitual manner? Are you able and willing to say, “How can I do this differently? How can I do this creatively? What can I do to innovate in this moment?”
This is what change is all about.
The beauty about being a human is that we are designed for change. Our defining trait is being creative, and creativity allows us to ship shift and change and do things differently over and over again throughout the course of our lives.
Survival in the New Economy
Let’s look at the economic landscape. The World Economic Forum met recently and made some interesting observations about the future of jobs.
What they did was ask chief human resources and strategy offers in leading global employers to comment on the current changes in the marketplace, a shift this is been often been coined “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
If you look at the top 10 skills necessary for surviving at thriving with and they called me in 2015 you’ll notice that creativity is tenth on the list.
But what they’re predicting is by 2020 what we see is that creativity as a job skill moves from the number ten spot to the number three spot.
That’s the biggest leap of all the job skills.
This is also interesting: For the first time emotional intelligence makes the list, as well as cognitive flexibility, which is our ability to hold multiple ways of seeing things that are not rigidly fixed on one outcome or another.
The main reason for these changes can be linked to the rise of artificial intelligence and automation. And we know this to be true: machines and computers are already doing a lot of the things that humans use it to before.
This may seem scary. Sometimes it can be frightening to think of this idea of the machines taking over the world.
But what I really like about this list, and what gives me profound hope and excitement for the future is what I’m reading between the lines.
Survival, as a human, means stop behaving like a machine
To me, what this list is asking us to do is to stop living like machines, to stop doing repetitive tasks and instead start bringing forth that which makes us most human, which is our innate ability to create.
I think that’s the reason the creativity made such a leap from the 2015 to the predicted 2020 jobs that because creativity as a defining trait of being is the same thing that Charles Darwin pointed out: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Creativity allows us to change, which, at a fundamental level allows us to survive in the ever-changing marketplace. Creativity allows us to adapt in that it allows us to see opportunities in chaos and uncertainty, to see patterns, and to make sound decisions that benefit ourselves, and that benefit others, and that have the potential to grow our entire organization.
Are you and your organization primed for survival?
Contemplate this was one area in your life where you are resistant to change?
Now look at the organization you work for. Make note of one are that you organization is either resistant to or even vulnerable to change.
Now imagine how you own life and health of your organization might benefit by bringing more creativity into the situation.
What comes to mind? If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comment section below.
About the author
Austin Hill Shaw is the founder of Creativity Matters and author of The Shoreline of Wonder: On Being Creative. He works with individuals who want to unlock their full creative potential and organizations that want to build cultures of innovation. www.austinhillshaw.com