Creativity matters. It makes a huge difference in so many ways. This episode focuses on 3 reasons why creativity is important. Use this information to get your team or organization excited about applying creativity to the work you all do together. The impacts can be amazing!
What You’ll Learn
- 3 reasons why creativity matters for businesses, organizations, schools, and families
- The details of huge economic gain that organizations have achieved from applying Creative Problem Solving, TRIZ, and other creative processes.
Resources Mentioned in the Episode
- Birdi, K., Leach, D., & Wissam, M. (2012). Evaluating the impact of TRIZ creativity training: An organizational field study. R & D Management, 42(4), 315-326.
Epstein, R., Schmidt, S., & Warfel, R. (2008). Measuring and training creativity competencies: Validation of a new test. Creativity Research Journal, 20(1), 7-12.
Firestien, R. L. (1996). Leading on the creative edge: Gaining competitive advantage through the power of creative problem solving. Colorado Springs, CO: Pinon Press.
IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success
- Pressfield, S. (2002). The War of Art. – great book!
Feel like reading instead of listening? You can read it below. Enjoy!
Amy Climer: Hello Deliberate Creatives. How are you? Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 41. Today’s episode is about why creativity matters. This is really a topic that I should have probably talked about much earlier in the progression. When I look back at the 40 episodes that I have already shared with you, I realize I was making a lot of assumptions that you all understood why creativity matters. And probably most of you already do, that is why you are listening to this podcast. But it also made me realize that I am so immersed in creativity that it did not even occur to me to talk about why it is important. I mean, every single day I am talking about creativity, writing about it, thinking about it. I am working with clients to help them be more creative, I am teaching people how to be more creative, I am completely immersed in this world of creativity.
So I guess it would be like talking to a fish about water. They are like, “Well, what do you mean? Of course water is important.” So of course I would say, “Well, what do you mean? Of course creativity is important,” but that is not really fair because I am so immersed in it and you may or may not be. So I am going to share with you some research and information that shows how important creativity is and how impactful it can be.
Some of you who are on my email list might remember that about a year ago I sent a survey out to you all, and I asked you what is it you wanted to know about creativity in teams. And several of you responded and said, “How do I get my boss or my supervisor to be more open to creativity? How do I help my organization realize that creativity is important?” So I am going to share with you some research today that will show how impactful creativity can be, and it might be something you want to share with your supervisors, with your boss, to help them understand that this impacts our bottom line.
Creativity is huge. We are going to get into it. If you want to go read the original sources where I pulled this research from, they are all listed in the shownotes and you can get the shownotes at www.climerconsulting.com/041 because this is Episode 41. So head on over to www.climerconsulting.com, you can also leave any notes or comments you have about this episode, I would love to hear from you.
Why Creativity Matters
It is the most important skill that we need [03:10]
Let’s talk about three reasons why creativity matters. The first is, it has been identified as the most important skill of our time. In 2010 did IBM did a study and they interviewed CEOs around the world from 60 different countries and 33 industries, and they asked them through in-person interviews, so there was not a survey, it was in-person interview, they talked with them and they said, “What are the issues? What do you see as most important for the future?” And what they found is that over 60% of the CEOs said creativity is going to be the most crucial factor for future success. Wow! That is pretty big.
But, it is so interesting because we do not really teach this in school. The CEOs did not say math was important or knowing how to write was important or understanding science or history, none of that is what came up. It was about creativity. Because CEOs can see that we, in the future, we are going to be confronted with massive shifts. And we already are, it is happening right now. Just look at healthcare. Healthcare in the United States has gone through huge changes just in the last few years, and that is going to continue to happen. Every industry is going through huge shifts and if they have not, they will. Technology is changing so rapidly that industries are getting disrupted all the time, and honestly, I think it is awesome. I love it. I am sure those that have been in a certain industry for decades might get a bit frustrated by it, but I think this is a natural part of our human evolution and I just think it is such an exciting time to be involved in life and to live.
But anyway, what is important for you to know is that understanding creativity and knowing how to be creative is one of the most important skills you can develop. Part of that is understanding how to manage complexity, how to be a critical thinker. All of these are part of creativity. So if you are working for somebody and they do not think creativity is important, I hate to say it, but they are just not going to last. The organization is not going to last. I think about some organizations that I worked with a number of years ago and one organization in particular that I am thinking of and they do not exist anymore. I think part of that is because they were not adjusting and reacting and making changes fast enough to respond to the changing needs of their constituents and they do not exist. It was a unit within a larger organization so that unit does not exist. They got ousted because it was like, “Hey, you are not providing enough benefit, we cannot keep you on anymore.” It is kind of sad actually, because it certainly impacts people’s lives, but being creative and being open to change is super important. That is one study. That is the IBM study from 2010 and again you can find that in the shownotes.
Creativity impacts our bottom line [06:31]
The second thing is that creativity impacts our bottom line. Whatever the bottom line is, whether that is a financial bottom line, whether you are trying to make change within your community. Let’s say you are trying to end homelessness in your community or eradicate racism. If that is your bottom line, creativity will make a difference in how successful you are. Actually creativity will make a difference either way, whether it is your abundance of creativity or your lack of it. It is going to impact your bottom line one way or another.
Here are a couple of examples. There was a manufacturing plant that went through a Creative Problem Solving training, which most of you have heard me talk about Creative Problem Solving in earlier episodes, and they went through a Creative Problem Solving training. And from the ideas that came out of the process, the Creative Problem Solving Process and from the training, they implemented some of the ideas and they saw a decrease in expenditures of $40,000 per week. Per week! $40,000 just for making a couple of changes that came out of the Creative Problem Solving Process. Wow!
There is another study where very similar creativity training was delivered to half of the 350 city employees in Orange County, California. In eight months, city officials reported nearly $600,000 in new revenues and $3.5 million in innovative expenditure reductions. And innovative expenditure reductions meaning they did not have to lay off a bunch of people. And they attributed this financial gain to the new ideas developed by employees after the creativity training. Some of it was that the managers who went through the creativity training were then more open to ideas from people that they worked with. So not only were they developing more ideas themselves, but they were also more open to getting ideas from others, and that made a difference of $4 million within eight months. When you add up the revenues and you add up the savings it is $4 million!
So those are two pretty amazing ones. There is another one, a study where an organization went through a creative process training called TRIZ, and it is an acronym for a Russian term, I cannot pronounce it. But anyway, the study is linked in the shownotes. And after going through the training, the firm saved $193 million. I actually wrote this up in a paper and I turned this in for my PhD and my advisor that was reading this wrote a comment and he said, “Are you sure about this number? This does not seem right.” And I double-checked, well I think it was 193 million. So sure enough I went back to the paper, the original research, and there it was and it said that number had been verified by the organization. So it really was $193 million savings.
I do not care what financial bracket you are in; these numbers are amazing. Millions of dollars are being saved or made because organizations are using Creative Problem Solving, TRIZ, some sort of creative process and they are intentionally, deliberately being creative and bringing creativity into the organization. So if money is important to your organization, which even if you are a small non-profit money matters, think about how you can become more creative, how can you incorporate creativity into the work that you do. I think sometimes organizations kind of balk because they are like, “Well, I know we should be more creative, we probably should get some training in that, training is going to cost us money.” I assure you the training does not cost a million dollars. So if you save a million dollars, wow, that training was so worth the money. Or if you make a million dollars. Some of you are probably thinking we do not have a million dollars to even save, whatever it is, that creativity is huge. So being able to tap into that can make such a big difference.
So that is the second thing. The first thing was it is the number one skill identified by CEOs as the most important skill that we need. The second is it impacts our bottom line. It impacts your organization financially. It will also impact your organization’s ability to implement whatever their goals are.
It is our natural ability [11:20]
The third reason why creativity matters is it is our natural ability. I like to think of – use it or lose it. It is like anything. You could think of creativity as a muscle. If we do not use our muscles, they start to atrophy and get weak and squishy and they are not strong anymore, and creativity is the same thing. If we do not use it, then it does not work as well. But the more we practice it, the better we get at it. Creativity is really what sets humans apart from all the other animals on the planet. I truly believe we have the capacity to solve nearly every problem on our planet. That if we collaborate and apply our creative abilities to those issues, I think we can solve them. We have the resources on this planet, we certainly have the intellect, and we have the creative ability. Now it is just a matter of putting all that together and making a difference with it.
You may have heard me on a previous episode talk about the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. A great book and I will put that in the shownotes for you. In the last few pages he wrote this, “Creativity is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution, give us what you got.” I could not agree more. What we focus on is what we get. So if you are a leader of an organization or of a team, focus on developing creativity within your team and that is what you will get. You will get more creative ideas, more innovative ideas. And if you do not focus on it, you will not. It is pretty simple. Either way you get what you nurture.
So those are three reasons why creativity matters. Let me know what you think, shoot me an email, go comment in the shownotes. Again those shownotes are www.climerconsulting.com/041. You all, if you have not yet, head on over to iTunes, write a review for this podcast, The Deliberate Creative. You can go to www.climerconsulting.com/itunes for a direct link to the page. Let me know what you think. If you think it is a five star show, let me know. I would love to get your feedback. It means a lot to me, and it helps other listeners find the show and helps spread the word. And if you have not subscribed yet, subscribe while you are on iTunes. What happens when you subscribe is that new episodes automatically download to your phone or to your computer. But the cool thing is if you get behind and you have not listened to them for a couple of weeks, they will automatically stop downloading so then it will not clog up your phone. So it is kind of a cool feature of iTunes. So head on over there, subscribe, you will never miss an episode.
You all, have a wonderful, wonderful creative week. I hope that with the information you got today you are able to increase the need for creativity within your organization and within your team because, like I said, I really believe we can change the world with creativity. I will see you next time, bye.
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