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CREATIVITY: THE LATEST DEBATES

Posted by Tina Catling 19 June 2018 Innovation Consultancy

Creativity is a central tenet of innovation, and as such has come to be considered a staple in many industries looking to grow or scale their product or service offering. Discussions have moved on from debating whether creativity can in fact be learned and taught, to what place creativity has in a world of technology and constant change. Here are three debates taking place around creativity at the moment that you should be following in order to keep up to date with the latest insights.

1. IN THE FACE OF AI, CREATIVITY IS A MUST

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a figment of the latest science-fiction film but is in fact a tangible part of daily life. Whether this means chatbots providing customer service or AI-driven content writing capabilities, AI is gradually being introduced to a wide range of industries.

One thing that AI has yet to master is the art of creativity. For this reason, creativity is a must for individuals and organisations looking to remain competitive and innovative. In an article by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), communications coach and author of Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo, argues that AI is unlikely to overtake human creative thinking any time soon.

Gallo points to the example of AI being used to grade essays to demonstrate his point. He explains that a ‘machine [is] able to grade average essays as well as actual teachers, and could grade thousands at a time, [but] the machine [is] incapable of recognizing original thought.’ Emphasising that ‘machines can recognize only what’s been done—they have no imagination,’ and that therefore ‘they can replicate, but they aren’t going to write Hamilton,’ Gallo believes human creativity will retain its value going forward.

2. THERE NEEDS TO BE BALANCE BETWEEN CREATIVITY AND DATA

Data has been a hot topic in recent months in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and new GDPR regulations. Yet with all this debate and discussion around data, it is easy to forget that striking a balance between data and creativity is a must if an organisation is going to thrive.

According to an article by Ad Week, the trade-off of customer data in return for a perceived benefit has often favoured the collectors of said data over consumers. Yet Ad Week argues that ‘creative storytelling is resetting that value exchange equilibrium by becoming more empathetic—more human. 

The article quotes managing director of Accenture Interactive, Peter Kang, who says that ‘through continued focus on brand purpose, empathy and two-way conversation inside innovation, we elevate everyday experiences and benefit from deeper, more personal engagement.’

3. YOU SHOULD FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CREATIVITY 

According to an article by Forbes contributor Anna Powers, creativity will be an essential skill of the future. Closely related to Gallo’s observation that AI cannot achieve creativity, Powers believes that creativity will become an individual’s most coveted skill. She argues that even though technology has advanced for centuries, ‘the value our society placed on creativity has always remained constant.’

While there is no doubt that technological developments bring about change, for Powers the key to seeing this change in a positive, rather than negative, light is attitude. She explains ‘the key to staying ahead and participating in the creation of the future is our own creativity. We must embrace and develop our creativity, and then use technology creatively to solve the problems of the world.’ 

Taking concrete steps now to learn the art of creativity is what will future proof your skill set and organisational competitiveness in the long term. There is a wealth of information online about how to develop your creativity, for example this helpful article by Inc.com. You can also follow the links below to find out how think can help you foster creativity. 

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