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Bringing together different approaches in innovative ways
will often solve seemingly insurmountable problems
The word "Creativity" often conjures up visions of artists,
musicians and poets, but the word can equally apply to students,
programmers, engineers and pretty well anyone who tries look at things
in new and innovative ways.
Last year I was involved in a project with a major university that
aimed to bring together very different industry sectors to solve
business needs. The
Interactive Skills Integration Scheme, was designed to look at
Innovation, and how bringing together sectors with different
approaches to the world can provide a spark that ignites a whole new
So when I found myself at a seminar titled "The Future of
Creativity", hosted by the UTS Business School in conjunction
with the Sydney Theatre Company, I had a bit of an idea what to
expect. It may seem like a weird combination –Business School Dean Roy
Green appearing together with actor Cate Blanchett and her husband
Andrew Upton to discuss how bringing together apparently different
industries can solve problems.
Cate Blanchett hit the nail on the head, as she discussed the
rehearsal process for major plays – "when there is a problem, we
don't approach it from only one side - we look at it from a wide
variety of angles - if a line isn't working in a play, maybe you need
to change the staging, maybe the lighting or the sound - or maybe you
just need to read the line faster". Similarly in business
problems, bringing together different approaches in innovative ways
will often solve seemingly insurmountable problems.
What do industries want for employees? Do they want robots who will
just do what they are told, or do they want workers who can think, who
can innovate, and who can work in teams? Overwhelmingly it is the
latter – people who display Creative Intelligence.
A study conducted by IBM in 2012 found that most CEOs consider
Creativity to be the most important leadership quality needed over the
next 5 years – and creative leaders need creative staff.
So what skills do TAFE students need to acquire? Sure, they need the
technical skills that enable them to do the jobs they need to do; but
increasingly they are expected to collaborate and to come up with
innovative solutions to problems. Employers want staff with
boundary crossing skills, including creativity,
communication, leadership, problem solving and critical thinking.
Think about this as you are ramping up your involvement in your
studies –subjects that don't appear to have any relevance to your
field of study often end up being the most important learning you can do.
And apply that learning in innovative ways, using your Creative
Intelligence. That is what will give you the edge, both in your
studies, and as you seek employment.