Creativity and the Workforce
This modern world is a competitive place, and the competitors are supremely varied. From race to size to musculature, no two members of the workforce are exactly the same – and their ability to compete in the market is just as varied. Some will obviously have a distinct advantage, while others may have to struggle mightily just to meet the lowest expectations. Recently, one trait has come to the forefront as the greatest boon to any worker in the workforce – creativity. In the modern information economy, workers with creative outlets are more able to develop their creative abilities and are proven to be more competitive thanks to their mindsets and skills.
The world’s modern economy calls for creativity, promising success in return. Markets are expanding, requirements are changing, and new products are arriving every day. Exploitation of these ever-changing factors is necessary to succeed economically, and this requires creative solutions and ideas. As the majority of the world has transitioned between Industrial and Information Revolutions, the requirements for competitiveness have changed drastically. Most focus has shifted from the physical to the mental when it comes to required skills. In fact, one might even say that mental capabilities have “become one of society’s most important resources” (Hanna, 1991). Among these prized mental capabilities is creativity and the ability to come up with new solutions to new problems. The world is encountering a new era of development, the likes of which have never been seen before. As a result, creative thinking is necessary for success – and is definitely highly sought after.
Now, one may ask, “What gives a creative mind this advantage? What special formula does it have that makes it tick?” Fink et al. have produced a study that may provide insight into this question. Their 2009 study, labelled “The Creative Brain: Investigation of Brain Activity During Creative Problem Solving by Means of EEG and fMRI”, looks at cranial alpha synchronization in human responses to creatively stimulating exercises. The results are illuminating. The study “suggests that those participants who produced more original ideas showed pronounced hemispheric differences… with more upper alpha synchronization in the right than in the left hemisphere, while in the lower originality group no hemispheric differences were observed.” (Fink et al. 739) The research done here also suggests that “[original] participants temporarily ‘switch off’ or reduce control functions of the frontal lobe… to allow unique or original ideas to enter into conscious awareness.” (Fink et al. 744) These original minds were able to more quickly solve creative problems, and came up with more unique answers as well. Given that “[the] ability to think creatively plays an important role in all areas of our [lives]”, it can be assumed that an original mind with these advantages stands a better chance of succeeding in the modern...