Are people living up to their creative potential? In a word, no.
This week, Adobe released global research in a State of Create report to uncover how people feel about their own creativity as well as its role in the economy, society, the workplace and our educational institutions. The findings were enlightening. A few highlights from the data:
- 8 in 10 feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth
- Only 1 in 4 believe they are living up to their own creative potential
- 75% said they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative at work
- More than half feel creativity is being stifled by the education system – and that feeling rises to 70% in the US
- Only about half of Americans would describe themselves as creative (global average is even lower at 39%)
We call this separation between the importance and the day-to-day reality of creativity the “creativity gap.” That gap is pretty sobering.
So, what can we do to close the creativity gap? First, we need to make time for creativity as well as provide the necessary technology tools and training. Productivity and creativity should not be mutually exclusive – we all need to find ways to create at work, rather than considering it a weekend hobby or luxury for those with more time. As for our educational institutions, they need to foster the growth of the entire child, with more opportunities to participate in arts programs and foster “out of the box” creative thinking. Most importantly, we all need to think of creativity more broadly – it’s not just the domain of professional designers or artists. It’s a critical capability in a successful society and one that is in all of us.