Why creativity is THE future business skill you need

Can you remember the last time you were encouraged to solve a problem, to think laterally, experiment, be curious, use your imagination or express your own ideas at work?

Traditionally, businesses do not encourage or, in some cases, even allow these types of things. You go to the office to perform your job description, which is most cases is far from the above.

Yet according to the 2016 World Economic Forum report, The Future of Jobs, chief human resources and strategy officers from leading global organisations revealed that the skill of creativity will be a necessary asset for anyone working in 2020, in all levels of a small to large business, from admin assistants to CEOs.

Many of us wrongly assume that creativity is our ability to be ‘artistic’, but actually, it is about problem-solving, thinking laterally, generating and brainstorming new visions and coming up with different ways of presenting those ideas.

Creativity, curiosity, experimentation and expression of ideas are all things that are not usually associated with work, a job, a business or a career.

But is now reported that as we begin to rely more on machines to make decisions and automate tasks, then humans will need to find innovative answers to complex business problems and supply what machines cannot: creativity.

Create your own edge

A recent IDC study identified the following 10 most important skills employers are looking for in future candidates:

Oral and written communication skills

Project management

Microsoft Office

Team-oriented, teamwork

Marketing

Creativity

Problem solving

Detail oriented

Microsoft PowerPoint

Integrity

All of these skills (including creativity) are particularly critical for any of us putting together presentations. Communication skills, Microsoft Office, creativity and PowerPoint are essential for businesses and business professionals, whether you are communicating the latest vision or values, selling stakeholders an idea or inspiring your team to act.

These skills ensure you stand out in a competitive marketplace, whether you’re in admin, are a middle manager, a small business owner or leading CEO.

You might have the best brain in the business, but if you can’t clearly articulate and communicate that knowledge to your team and come up with creative ways of communicating and sharing your ideas ti your stakeholders then you’ll fail to progress in your career.

Brainstorm into action

It’s easier than you think to kick-start your inner creative in your next presentation.

All it requires is your brain and the following 3 steps:

Write down all your ideas for an upcoming presentation on sticky notes.
This is about quantity not quality – it’s a brain dump. Silence your inner voice and set your mind free.

Sketch your ideas onto paper.
This is about visualising your main message, key points, data and info so it will make sense to you and to others. Draw diagrams and mind maps to connect the dots and your thinking. Remember, this is not about ‘being artistic’; it is about exploring.

Organise your thoughts and points.
Get rid of everything that isn’t essential. Start making choices and focus on what achieves your objective. This is your ‘aha’ moment where you start to make sense of everything you have brainstormed or sketched out.

Above all else, remember that the creative process is supposed to be fun.

Inspiration comes from everyday stuff and situations like books, magazines, and when you’re out walking the dog.

Just try it and see.

 

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Emma Bannister
Emma Bannister is the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio, APAC’s largest presentation communication agency, and author of ‘Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations.’ Find out more: www.presentationstudio.com

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