The ability to think creatively is now more important than ever, as the world is changing rapidly and we are all asked to do more with less. Many corporations are outsourcing skilled labour such as engineering, accounting, and software writing. North Americans watch as left brain jobs go to countries asking for lower incomes. Innovation is a right brain activity, which comes from the ability to use imagination. It could be one of the ways North American businesses gain a greater foothold in the world market during this economic slowdown. The Economist Magazine calls innovation the next big economy, following the Knowledge Economy. And now Business week is calling it the Creative Economy, http://ow.ly/1BwZM.
General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Google all understand the Creative Economy and they are working to capitalize. They all recognize their greatest asset is the potential that lies in their human resources. They not only create environments that support ideation and collaboration, but they also create time and space. It is difficult to be creative when your time is taken up on task completion.
Clearly some people are more creative than others. But we can all become more creative. There is a way to develop that creative muscle. First we need to recognize the power of creativity and imagination and see this as an available tool that is accessible to all of us and an important ingredient for innovation. Tools and processes like LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY use systematic creativity to take participants through a process that generates better solutions. Using whole brain thinking, 3D tools tap into the hidden potential that is locked away in the underused right brain.
If you’re interested in reading more about design thinking – check out the book: The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin.