Creatives Wanted – The Creative Problem Solving Opportunity

There is a lot of buzz right now about how the US is in a creative crisis.  According to the recent  Newsweek article The Creativity Crisis  – “Kim(Kyung-Hee Kim) found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says.””

Charlie Rose also had a segment on Creativity which featured Ashley Merryman who co-authored the Newsweek article as well as a couple of other creative guests.  I suggest you check out both the Newsweek article and Charlie Rose video – very interesting!

Even businesses are getting into the act as a result of the poor economy and the uncertain future.  In the recent study conducted by IBM –  “2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success” executives cited creativity as the key to success – “More than 60 percent of CEOs believe industry transformation is the top factor contributing to uncertainty, and the finding indicates a need to discover innovative ways of managing an organization’s structure, finances, people and strategy.”

Clearly this is a broad application of “creativity”.  The world has changed and what worked in the past may not work now.  It will be interesting to see how businesses try to nurture and implement creativity into their organizations.

Some ideas on developing and harnessing creativity:

If you are a creative person

  • Congratulations! – your skills are in short supply.
  • Continue to develop your creative skills and look for ways to apply them to other problems/areas.
  • Help and encourage others to use and develop their creative skills.
  • Support and participate in organizations who foster creativity.
  • Support and advocate for public policy which supports creative programs and legislation – a good example is Colorado Creative Industries.
  • Make sure your bio or resume has the words “creative, creativity, or creative problem solving” in it.

 If you are a business

  • If you are serious about the need for creativity in your organization – then act!
  • The problem or opportunity starts with the people you hire – are you hiring the right people?
  • Your corporate culture may need an adjustment – are you ready to hear opposing views or ideas?
  • Your need to set up systems that encourage and reward creativity in your organization.
  • You should support organizations that foster creativity and business – Colorado Business Committee for The Arts  is a great model.
  • Support and advocate for public policy which supports creative programs and legislation – a good example is Colorado Creative Industries.
  • Develop, train and fund your people with courses like Creative Problem Solving at cutting edge institutions like the Center For Innovation(MSCD)
  • Allow your people time off for creative activities – you just may find an big boost in productivity.
  • More than likely YOU created the creativity crisis you are in.  If you don’t embrace creativity hope that your competition doesn’t follow your lead.

I am going to follow the “Creative Crisis” and hope that real changes will be made.  Stay tuned.

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto