Thursday, May 6, 2010

The value of creativity

Loved this blog from Jacquie Llyod Smith - one of our Canadian partners in the Strategic Playroom.
The title of her blog is - Creativity. Is That Really a New Business Word?

She writes:

When you hear the word creative, do you picture starving artists creating political statements out of recycled materials. And when you hear the word imagination, do you think of young children telling amazing stories and drawing wonderful pictures? It is interesting to note that most people in the corporate world think they lost their imagination somewhere in public school. These same people are quick to announce, “I’m not creative.” The truth is, we use creative imagination everyday—every time we develop a business plan, write a budget, or make dinner. In order to think about something that has not happened yet, we use imagination.

The ability to think creatively is now more important than ever, as the world is changing rapidly and we are all asked to do more with less. Many corporations are outsourcing skilled labour such as engineering, accounting, and software writing. North Americans watch as left brain jobs go to countries asking for lower incomes. Innovation is a right brain activity, which comes from the ability to use imagination. It could be one of the ways North American businesses gain a greater foothold in the world market during this economic slowdown. The Economist Magazine calls innovation the next big economy, following the Knowledge Economy. And now Business week is calling it the Creative Economy, .

General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Google all understand the Creative Economy and they are working to capitalize. They all recognize their greatest asset is the potential that lies in their human resources. They not only create environments that support ideation and collaboration, but they also create time and space. It is difficult to be creative when your time is taken up on task completion.

For many of us, the words creative and creativity have negative connotations. We often think of creativity as being an indulgent past time. And many parents know the arts programs are the first to go when public school systems experience cutbacks. But wait, before you cut those arts programs, remember businesses need creative thinkers who can solve those problems we have not yet encountered or solved.

Clearly some people are more creative than others. But we can all become more creative. There is a way to develop that creative muscle. First we need to recognize the power of creativity and imagination and see this as an available tool that is accessible to all of us. At Lloyd Smith Solutions we use systematic creativity to take our clients through a process that generates better solutions. We use whole brain thinking, 3D tools to tap into the hidden potential that is locked away in the underused right brain.

We are not alone in our passion for right brain development. We salute others, like Whitney Ferre, who has built a business around helping people become more creatively fit. She has written a book on this topic and you can visit her website to learn more about the work she is doing to help change mental frameworks, and ultimately people’s lives.

Some great food for thought here and all our LEGO SERIOUS PLAY mates definitely know the immense value of using play to create a sense of flow where new ideas emerge.

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