LinkedIn’s data suggests that there are over 50 000 skills in the world. These can be divided into soft and hard skills. While hard skills only apply to specific sections of the workforce, soft skills apply to all. In 2019, of all 50 000 skills listed, Creativity is the single-most in-demand skill for companies to cultivate in their employees, across all sectors.
According to LinkedIn, this list of most in-demand skills are the skills your boss and your boss’s boss find most valuable, but have a hard time finding – and the skills that’ll most help you better serve your clients and customers. If they’re right, then it becomes an excellent tool to work out what should be valuable into the future. If you’re going to do any learning in 2020, do something on the list.
Can You Learn Creativity?
It was Picasso that said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up?”. You can replace the words ‘an artist’ with ‘creative’ and it still holds true (click here to read of one study that illustrate this). So how do we hold onto our creativity? How do we prevent it from being educated and socialised out of us? And if we’ve allowed that to happen, can we get it back?
Creativity isn’t the same as artistic. Having skills and talent in the arts (music, dance, paint, design, etc) may regularly require creativity, but those spaces are not the custodians of creativity. Creativity is a muscle that we all have. Certainly some are more skilled and developed than others, but creativity is something we can all draw on and from. Creativity is key to finding solution to the problems we face on a daily basis. When your pool of leads dries up, creativity is required to find new sources and contacts. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or what your position, creativity is a key skill required to stay ahead and succeed.
If you want to learn creativity you need to practice and develop your creativity muscle (think sport). That muscle is most effectively worked through play. Of course this is where most adults ‘check out’, because the concept of play is firmly and exclusively attached to the world of children. As soon as one suggests that play is a key activity to develop creativity, most adults switch off.
Before I lose you completely, think on this…. when you started school, 99% of your day consisted of play. And you learnt through play. By the time you finished high school, there was no play left in your world (sport is not play, and even though we say ‘we play sport’ – it doesn’t fit the definition). Why is this, do you think? Why during your school career was it communicated to you that play was for children and not for adults? Why was play educated and socialised out of us? Why have we learned that play is childish and not mature? That play is simple and not complex? That play is improper and inappropriate to engage in as an adult?
Could ‘the system’ really be afraid of adults playing?
The only area I have ever hear adults using the word ‘play’ is when they’re talking about romantic engagement in a bedroom. Even in that context, play is locked and hidden away in a private space.
Ignore Everything You’ve Learned About Creativity
It’s time to ignore everything that you’ve learned about Creativity. It consistently turns up in research around what modern business needs (creativity). And yet modern business has no idea how to foster and develop Creativity. Think about the last time your company invited you to a workshop on creativity development or simply to play? Nothing, right? And yet it’s the most sought after soft-skill in business today!
If you want to get ahead you’re going to need to go back to the beginning. The beginning, where play was a normal and usual everyday occurrence. You need to access the child in you and play. Get in touch with the creativity inside of you, develop it, practice it, grow it, and then go out and conquer the world