We wanted to inject some extra spice to our blog so asked the team to share their thoughts and opinions. First up to the plate was our designer Mike, who couldn’t wait to let off some steam.
In the firing line? The use of creativity in organisations.
Take it away Mike…
Why is it that some business leaders see creativity as a commodity reserved solely for those of us working in the so called “creative industries”?
The Department for Culture Media & Sport defines creative industries as ‘those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property.’
These are further defined as nine creative sectors, namely:
- Advertising and marketing
- Design: product, graphic and fashion design
- Film, TV, video, radio and photography
- IT, software and computer services
- Museums, galleries and libraries
- Music, performing and visual arts
These are, of course, nine sectors where creativity is essential.
However, the creative industries should not be a monopoly of all lateral thinking. Nor should companies outside of these nine sectors put less of a value on creativity.
A quick job search shows you the extent of the problem.
Search for the word creative in any job directory and you will be greeted with listings for “creative designer”, “marketing assistant”, “creative photo and videographer” and other roles associated with the above nine industry sectors.
Unfortunately, this seems to be where the demand for creativity ends.
Neither in the job title or description, have I ever seen the words “creative sales executive”. Yet number one in the list of creative sectors is advertising and marketing – an industry based on the principle of using creativity to help promote and sell.
I’m not suggesting that we start putting the word creative in front of every job title by any means.
If I were in hospital and a somebody said to me “the creative surgeon will be right with you” I might start worrying that my gallbladder will end up on display in the Tate Modern.
But companies need to understand that creativity goes beyond simply creating.
Putting the word creative in front of your job title does not make you a creative. The ability to out think a problem in a unique way does.
Business leaders and managers need to actively encourage creativity within the work place and not kill off ideas that challenge convention.
Creating a culture where risk-taking is not frowned upon and where people feel safe to make suggestions – no matter how crazy they may seem – is essential to success.
How many brilliant ideas do you think have gone unheard because of a fear of looking stupid or of failure?
“If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else.”
― Paul Arden