Inventive and imaginative – creativity at work


Coming from a family of folk who could make things, I take my ability in craft work for granted. Every now and again someone will comment on something I have made and I am reminded that not everyone can knit or sew. I was thinking of adding “these days” to that comment but only recently when I was having coffee with a friend, I saw a group of younger ladies sitting at a nearby table, knitting and crocheting, while chatting and sipping tea. Maybe there is a resurgence. Maybe austerity does that.

My dear Mum still loves to tell stories of how she made and remade clothes for herself when rationing was in force. Her wedding dress was worn by at least three brides, each time with an alteration to make it look different. I know I am biased but I think she has extraordinary talent. Even today at the great age of 82 she endlessly crochets blankets for the “old folk”.

Being able to make things from bits of this and strands of that shows great creativity in the traditional sense and is to be admired.

So why is it that creativity in business is sometimes undervalued and even sneered at?

Terms like creative accounting and being creative with the truth hardly set the scene but in times where companies are trying to do more with less, creativity should come into its own surely?

I would argue that it should not take scarcity of resources to encourage people to be creative though, it should be the default position.

When I am working with clients during career transition I ask them to think about their skills, talents and experience and encourage them to think how they might weave them together to present that to a potential employer.

Most of the services that I offer to clients have been reworked from the original to appeal to the current market. Established businesses that thrive and survive are often ones that try out new ideas, re-brand or repackage. In some teams there will be creative folk and those who just like to get on with things. That can make for an excellent combination.

I am wondering, has the time come when being Inventive and Imaginative at work, should not only be encouraged, but is actually essential? And not just for people with “Creative” in their job title.

Jackie Cameron is a regular contributor to the3rdimagazine.

2 Comments on Inventive and imaginative – creativity at work

  1. One of the outcomes of the large numbers of students leaving college with a degree is that it is no longer possible for employers to simply look at the formal qualifications when making appointments. Students are required to have done more than pass exams. My hope is that this will lead to a more rounded workforce, one that will bring creativity into business with them

  2. Liz Taylor // March 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm // Reply

    Agree with your comments, Jackie. I think what sometimes happens is that established processes and procedures tend to get in the way of creativity – a pity as the ability to continually adapt is vital for business growth.

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