Creativity: The Premier Skill of the 21st century

Creativity: The Premier Skill of the 21st century

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, economic turmoil and unprecedented change a new picture is emerging of the skills and traits for success (and perhaps even simply survival) in the modern era.  At the heart of this essential skillset for the future lies… creativity.

From politics to business to education to sports, creativity is one of the buzzwords of this decade. We used to think of creativity as the province of artists, musicians and writers. Now we’re waking up to the fact that all facets of modern life demand creative input.

The information/technology explosion, along with cyber-communication and globalization, are transforming the way we learn, the way we do business and the way we form relationships with each other. Things are changing so rapidly in the 21st century that you need to exercise your creative abilities just to survive (let alone thrive!).

Creativity is the ideation of a thought, while innovation is the realization of the idea.

“The partnership for 21st Century Skills calls for creativity and innovation as one of the essential skill sets of future citizens. And, while we do not traditionally have a Creativity Room in our schools, we have a mandate to instill the skills of creative thinking to foster a never-ending stream of innovations”, says Candice Du Preez, COO at VastraTech.

“Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are the keys to success in the evolving global economy. To prepare young people for work and life in the 21st century, educators must cultivate students’ creativity” she adds.

Therefore, students must learn how to imagine the unimaginable and hone their creative skills.

Think about this: If you own a business, how are you going to fight the uphill battle of cutting costs while maintaining quality and providing an innovative product or service rather than the same old product that your competitors are providing?

If you’re currently unemployed, how do you navigate the job market in the midst of an economic downturn where both recent college graduates and middle-aged out-of-work executives with loads of experience are competing against you? Reinventing your business or your career may be a necessary part of the survive/thrive process today, and that takes both creativity and courage.

Many researchers would agree that creativity is concerned with producing ideas that are original and useful in order to solve problems and exploit opportunities.

Creativity is at the heart of problem-solving. Students will always have problems to solve, both in their personal lives and work lives. If you help them develop creative competencies, they will be better equipped for the world.