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Creativity is a Required Skill for Business Success and Sustainability

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Workers who want to succeed and be more sustainable in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will need to be creative, critical thinkers who can solve complex problems and possess high emotional intelligence, according to the World Economic Forum's new report, The Future of Jobs.

These Top 10 Skills Will be Critical in the 2020 Global Economy

  1. Complex problem solving (1)
  2. Critical thinking (4)
  3. Creativity (10)
  4. People management (3)
  5. Coordinating with others (2)
  6. Emotional intelligence (New)
  7. Judgment and decision-making (8)
  8. Service orientation (7)
  9. Negotiation (5)
  10. Cognitive flexibility (New)

Note: The numbers in parentheses indicate where those skills ranked in a list of skills deemed essential for the 2015 workplace.

Two skills – quality control and active listening – fell off the list because automation will fill those needs better, while emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility, which don't figure into automation, are on the rise.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is one that takes the digital transformation of our present economy to greater heights through what the WEF calls "a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres."

It will incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, genetics and biotechnology. So, where does that leave room for creativity?

What Creativity Will Mean in 2020

The report defines creativity as "the ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem."

I would argue that creativity encompasses nearly all of the 10 skills or attributes the report lists as essential for the next Industrial Revolution. Even the most sophisticated machines, whether real or virtual, are there to serve people, and people will set the parameters and apply the results.

"With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes," Alex Gray writes on the WEF blog. "Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet)."

In other words, this newest evolution of the Industrial Revolution will need people who don't merely think outside the box but interpret and manage data, relationships and systems that help them continuously reinvent the box or even invent a world without boxes.

Creativity Needs its Own Space to Flourish

Co-creators

In the words of Klaus Schwab, the WEF's founder and executive chairman, "Business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate."

But, none of this happens in a vacuum. Discussion and learning happens when people come together to discuss, create, evaluate and iterate. It happens on a grand scale at Davos – the WEF's world headquarters in Switzerland – and in the one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one community that Creatorbase provides.

Here, we're all creators. We're a niche community and media site that brings participants and partners (co-creators) together to share ideas and learn from each other to create sustainable value for their businesses and lives in general. We focus on creator competency and purpose strategy, and four key areas in terms of research, best practices development, content and enablement: digital transformation, customer experience, modern marketing, and workforce success.

Creatorbase_Focus_Areas_Copyright2016At Creatorbase, we're building a community and resources that will help you grow as a creator – and lead teams and key initiatives as co-creators – to help you prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2020 and beyond. We’re also interested in your content contribution and sharing as a subject matter expert in the key areas listed above.

Let's connect on Twitter and our community site; subscribe to our monthly email to stay in touch!

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