Cultivate creativity in the workplace

Simon Bolton
The Brand Union
Christian Schroeder

Staff should be discouraged from being tied to their desks and should take time out for creativity, which may require a reassessment of employee performance measures.

Creativity is one of the great intangibles of business. It's celebrated when the spark can be harnessed and subsequently translated into monetary gain, and increasingly highly prized as a quality that can differentiate a business from its competitors in difficult economic times. It is, however, elusive, and often takes a back seat to more commercial priorities.

In a recent international survey from Adobe, three-quarters of respondents felt under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work, despite being increasingly expected to demonstrate innovative thinking in workplaces where job security may be weakening due to external pressures. Respondents also estimated that they spend just a quarter of their time in the office 'creating', with lack of time seen as the biggest barrier to inspiration. While imagination is seen as being vital to the economy, just a quarter feel they are fulfilling their own creative potential.