Adobe published a report on the need for more creativity in education ( Creativity in Education: Why it Matters ), polling college-educated people with full time employment. Results telling, but perhaps not surprising — overwhelming majority of participants felt creativity was important in their careers (78%), that creativity was critical to problem-solving (85%), and that creativity should be part of educational curriculum (88%). Interestingly, however, overall only 57% believed that creativity is a learned skill. Sixty-five percent believed you had to be born with it. However, when you break that down by educational majors, 80% of education majors versus 54% of engineering majors believed creativity is a skill you are born with. I’m curious if the 80% of education majors perceived themselves as being creative or not. It matters if you think you have a valued innate talent or if you think something is hopelessly out of reach.
Creativity: One of the top three personality traits important for career success (Adobe, 2013, p. 19)
The report emphasizes, however, the shifting perceptions of the value of creativity in professional success. This makes sense because is a rapidly changing environment, heuristics are increasingly ineffective. Old rules of thumb don’t apply well to a world with new rules. The challenge is to find a way to encourage creativity at all levels–educators as well as students, managers and leaders as well as employees and even parents as well as kids.
NB: One of the reasons why I feel privileged to be teaching these days is the challenge of preparing students for our rapidly changing, socially-networked world. In the courses I teach on leadership psychology and media psychology at MSPP , we spend a lot of time exploring ways to implement creative approaches to leadership and media. We integrate design thinking, a systems perspective and adaptive leadership approaches to avoid falling back on traditional approaches and solutions to 21st century problems. I know there are lots of you out there taking on the challenge as well and I welcome your insights and feedback!