A post by Dr. James Ramsey, PAA Executive Director.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Creativity part I – Where’s it going?, the most valuable aspect of creativity for a student’s development is threatened simply because it is immeasurable. In a standardized testing world, immeasurability is an excuse to cut or devalue programs in our community and in particular, the creative arts. There is a recent survey that supports and re-energizes this argument.
According to a 2010 IBM survey of more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, “creativity” is one of the most highly prized commodities when it comes to visionary business leadership and how one’s company will be successful in today’s economy and in the future more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision. As the study further states less than half of these global CEOs believe their enterprises are adequately prepared to handle a highly volatile, increasingly complex business environment including new government regulations, changes in global economic power centers, accelerated industry transformation, growing volumes of data, rapidly evolving customer preferences – that, according to the study, can be overcome by instilling “creativity” throughout an organization.
Even though this study is 5 years old, it’s still poignant in a consumer-driven world that has come out of one of the worst economic downturns of our lifetimes. Its also interesting to note that CEOs name something that is intangible and immeasurable in order to shift the context of their business in order to produce positive bottom line results. I’m not trying to promote a more consumer-driven world by supporting creative arts in our community. But I do find it fascinating that these CEOs place a high value on “creativity” in order to yield better profits in their industry.
It really speaks to how creativity is intertwined within our culture and its value and importance only when there is a need or a crisis in this country. And therein lies the rub. How do we foster American ingenuity in this country if we don’t sustain programs that encourage confidence and “outside the box” thinking? Where does American innovation come from? Is it only a gift from God or do we have to work at it? These are rhetorical questions, I know. Even with all the data and empirical evidence from studies, we still don’t “get it” as a society save one program in this community that is trying to make that difference in our children and youth. One’s character is also a part of the equation. However to answer the question, “why we need creativity?” We need it because it inspires “intelligence, aspiration, and good will” in a world that needs those qualities in a person.