Norfolk Network stories

A Creative Workshop about… Creativity!

Lee Carnihan
Curveball Media

Many of us still think creativity is something to do with the arts, music or fashion. And while artists, musicians and fashion designers are creative, they don’t own creativity. The Cambridge dictionary defines creativity as “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.” And that’s good to know because it opens up the possibility that we can all be creative, no matter what role we have in our personal or work life.

We might be a mum or a lawyer, or both! But that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative. We can. Which is doubly good to know because creativity is now number three in the World Economic Forum’s list of top ten skills that employees need to survive and thrive in today’s world.

"Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes."

In 2015 creativity was at number ten.

Global organisations aren’t the only ones pointing out the importance of creativity. Edward de Bono, a world-renowned specialist in creativity and lateral thinking puts creativity at number one, “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

I didn’t know any of that before I went to the workshop on creativity with Dr Ieva Martinaityte last Friday at The Enterprise Centre, Norwich. Ieva took us through her definition and the reasons why creativity is important and how it’s connected to wellbeing and productivity – and how the two things are inseparable and can nurture each other.

She gave us the knowledge and confidence to see how we can be more creative each day when we’re dealing with high workloads, tight deadlines and lots of uncertainty.

We didn’t sit there passively. She asked us to work in small teams and as individuals, to come up with ideas triggered by “prompt cards”. Then we discussed the results. She gave us ideas and techniques to use at work, at home and in life. Things we could build into our daily habits and processes at work. Things that would give us more energy and help us be more creative in the first place. And tactics to overcome obstacles when we draw a creative blank.

I didn’t want it to end. No one did.

So when the hour was up we moved round the corner to the Social Pod – an area of The Enterprise Centre filled with comfy sofas, tea and biscuits. We carried on talking about what we’d learned and how we could integrate Ieva’s ideas and techniques into our lives.

It was the very essence of short and sweet. It left me wanting more. And if you are wanting more, why not “take a dip” in The Creativity Lab.

P.S. Dancing, even if you can’t and even if you do it on your own in the dark, is really good for your creativity!

Photos: Henry Opina