Why creativity is at the centre of business transformation

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 20 July 2020

Creativity is becoming a more fundamental skill for all industries and job functions as businesses around the world undergo rapid digital transformation.

Adobe managing director Australia and New Zealand Suzanne Steele told AdNews creativity needs to be at the core of all business transformation today.

“Technology is evening the playing field and it means organisations can no longer compete simply by being the cheapest or the fastest,” Steele says.

“The value of a business, particularly in marketing and advertising, comes from your creativity.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to become more agile, collaborative and to adapt to situations faster with the help of technology.

Steele says technology is actually shining more light on creativity as a result.

“We are seeing exponential growth in technology, especially in AI and automation, and with this technology, left-brained skills like logic, sequence, mathematics and process skills can be done faster, cheaper and more efficiently,” she says.

“However, this advancement is creating opportunity by enabling and enhancing right brained skills which now have a premium. It makes creativity a key brand differentiator.”

In line with its business mantra ‘Creativity for all’, Adobe has just launched its first creative evaluation tool Adobe CQ to measure enterprise creative aptitude and capability across teams and organisations.

The persona-based test aims to help leaders understand how to use creativity, cultivate it and accelerate skills development.

Steele says the tool is designed to show brands that creativity is an essential skill beyond creative and design departments.

“Everyone from a marketer to an engineer needs to be creative, and by helping people understand their creative ability in leadership, we can enable them to accelerate creative skills development within their team,” she says.

The online test is comprised of fifteen questions across five key areas where creativity impacts business success: culture; skills; technology; data; and experience.

Upon completion of the questionnaire, Adobe CQ assigns an appropriate persona to the individual: The Visionary, The Leader, The Assembler, or The Challenger.

Steele says the personas represent a maturity curve that maps a team and team leader's creative potential.

“The personas are a description of their respective place on the maturity curve,” she says.

“The Challenger is beginning the process of rethinking the way their team operates, whilst The Assembler is building systems and processes in place to increase creativity.

“The Leader and Visionary are further along with The Leader carving out new opportunities and The Visionary designing the future of creativity.”

The test provides a qualitative analysis rather than a specific 'score', identifying areas of greatest expertise and potential.

Participants are then recommended further learning resources to help formulate creative developmental paths, strategies and encourage creativity in their team and organisation.

“Creativity is not exclusive or a special gift endowed only upon a lucky few. It belongs to everyone; it’s everywhere, and ultimately, creativity is what connects us all,” Steele says.

“It doesn’t just open doors. It opens worlds. It transcends borders and lowers barriers, crosses divides and dimensions.”

Adobe CQ was developed in partnership with global futurist and innovation strategist Anders Sorman-Nilsson, independent creative strategist Jye Smith, and WE Communications.

The methodology is based on several academic research reports on the Future of Work by management consultancies PwC, Delloitte and McKinsey, academic institutions Harvard and the University of Melbourne, as well as through Adobe’s experience of working with enterprise organisations.

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