As part of SOA’s vision statement “To broaden the opportunities for people to release their creativity and develop the technical skills to transform the world around them” we have 4 key pillars:
1. Broadening Opportunities
2. Release Creativity
3. Develop Technical Skills
4. Transform the World around them
The thought of releasing someone’s creativity sounds really liberating and something we should be doing, right? The wording itself sounds positive and why would you not want to do this? Let us start with what do we mean by this. We believe that all people have potential, and all people can be creative, its understanding what stops us from being creative.
Creativity is a sought-after skillset by many employers. The world of work is changing rapidly and as we embrace more and more technology and digital transformation our work tasks are changing, and we are using technology to complete manual, repetitive tasks, and processes. We require people to think creatively to solve business problems to work in collaboration with each other and have more time to focus on customers and value-added tasks.
This is not new; we are already starting to see this change and we have a huge challenge to prepare people for the future of work and address the skills that they require. Within this Forbes article, it states the mains skills needed for the future of work – creativity placed at number one: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/04/29/the-10-vital-skills-you-will-need-for-the-future-of-work/?sh=48cd77183f5b
Okay, we know that we need this, the question is…
How and what stops us?
Creativity: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something
To be creative we must think about our environment and how we are feeling. We must look at ways of being inspired which we will find from our surroundings, through the space that we work in, to the people we are around. Our minds must be free to think, be imaginative and try something new and most importantly know that it is ok, and you will be supported by your colleagues and leaders within the business to express yourself.
The world of work has changed and the thought of working 9-5 for 5 set days in the week no longer appeals to everyone. We can now look at a hybrid model of working and collaborating in the office or working from home. It is about choice and finding what works for you to be at your best to enable you to work productively. Life is about balance and this includes work. More than ever, we are faced with the pace of life getting quicker, but this can overwhelm us at times, and we get caught in the cycle of keeping our heads down and going through the motions. If we are to solve business problems and have new innovative ideas, we need to have the time and space to accomplish this.
Those who are leaders in business and require our teams to think creatively, solve problems and have new ideas then we must look at how we support and facilitate the environment to allow this to happen. Teams or individuals cannot just “be creative”; there is so much to consider, and the conditions can be supported by the leaders. An important factor for any leader to consider is the fact that we must get to know our teams individually and what works for them. We must ask how they are and understand how they are feeling if we are to set them tasks to be creative. If one of our team have things on their mind such as stresses, worries or feelings of being anxious, they will not have the capacity to think freely and come up with these innovative ideas. Source below highlight ways in which leaders can focus on the creativity of their teams: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/12/21/15-ways-leaders-can-promote-creativity-in-the-workplace/?sh=4404c6f558ef
How SoA enhances creativity
At SOA, our team comes with a variety of experiences in both life and work but for many of our team they are at the start of their working careers. As they progress with their careers, the skills and their abilities to be creative in their thinking, collaborate with others, problem solve will be equally as important as their technical abilities to use the automation technology and latest software. For us it is so important that we continue to address this and create an environment that encourages such ways of working by allowing individuals to grow and build on the skills they will need for the future of work.
Releasing creativity requires multiple conditions and an environment to flourish. Knowing your team individually and understanding what works well for them, will offer the opportunity to liberate our teams and set the scene to think freely.
Here are some more resources that you may find interesting: