What Employers Want: Creativity

Creativity is a must have in today’s workplace.  Its one of the 4Cs all employers want.  People who can think outside the box are in demand, and always will be.  But I would take it a step further in that people who have the ability to redefine what the box is will always have a job, and many of them create that job for themselves.

Fast Company featured the 100 Most Creative People in Business last month.  The #1 person was Nate Silver (the Money Ballguy) who is a prime example of what it means to redefine the box.

He is quoted as describing creativity in two ways,  “pure expression” like in artistic endeavors and “finding different ways to approach and solve a problem.”  Creativity is problem solving at its best.  Silver has redefined the box by matching math and data with creativity to derive  “solutions in an era of information overload”.   An example:  Silver transformed predicting the success of minor league baseball players by looking at data instead of a scout’s opinion.  The things that were important in predicting success were not what most people thought.  He also was successful in calling the 2012 election perfectly (see his fivethirtyeight blog) by analyzing large amounts of data.  He redefined the box of election and pro athlete analysis by taking emotion out.

What can we do to be more creative?

  •    Engage yourself in activities that are challenging which require you to problem solve.  Take the harder math class, sign up for a class to learn how to code or learn another language even though you know nothing about it.   Tell your boss you’re willing to tackle the tough issue at work even though you have no idea where to begin.
  •  Read about creative people.   What are they doing to help themselves think outside the box or redefine the box? Fast Company is a good place to start this reading.
  •  Talk to creative people.   We all know someone who seems to come with a new idea every minute.  Engage them in conversation to see what sparks their mind to action and problem solving and emulate their behaviors.
  •   Find time to think.  Sometimes we got so caught up in the rat race that we don’t take the time consciously set aside time for higher order thinking.    Want some tips for doing this? Read more here: Art Petty’s blog

How do you stimulate your creative juices?

Mary Ila Ward

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