What is Creative Intelligence?

You've probably heard of Emotional Intelligence, popularised by Daniel Goleman, and Spiritual Intelligence which grew out of research by Danah Zohar. Nowadays, there is an ever-increasing interest in exploring creativity and the attributes or "intelligences" that help people to be creative.

For some years, it was thought that information and information technology had overtaken industrial processes as the key drivers to commercial and other success. The civilised world had started on its road to prosperity through agriculture and this was the principal driver of commerce for centuries. Then the industrial revolution changed all that - agriculture diminished in importance and industry came to the fore. Then, in the late 20th century, information became the key. Those who had information or knowledge were the kings of the castle.

But the growth of the internet means that we are all kings now; whatever information you have now, your competitors can have one nano-second later - or earlier. We are living in a post-information age and what matters now and for the foreseeable future is not what information we have but how many ideas we can come up with and how creatively, efficiently and effectively we can turn those ideas into new and profitable products and services. So businesses and other organisations need to employ people with creative intelligence.

The problem is that most businesses employ people who are a product of an earlier age, an age in which education encouraged the accumulation of facts rather than the development of personal creativity. We are, of course, all creative but our education and often the type of work we do has stifled our innate creativity. Research undertaken by Kobus Neethling in 15 different countries exploring the creativity of schoolchildren showed that:

Creative behaviour diminshes from 98% in the 3-5 year old age group to 32% by age 10; by the time children are turning 15, only 10% are behaving creatively and it's only 2% by the age of 25.

So many businesses, anxious not to get left behind, started to look around to see who could help re-ignite the creativity of their people. Not surprisingly, many of them started to turn to the arts and artists - people whose work demands a continuous flow of creative abilities. Could business people learn from them? They could - and they do.

The sorts of processes and techniques used by artists, often honed over centuries of artistic endeavour, are precisely the processes that encourage creative intelligence. And creativity does not just relate to problem-solving. A creative approach to learning, leadership, management, interpersonal relations, culture, values, organisational development, communication, change or any other aspect of organisational life is what will distinguish the successful company from the failure in the 21st century.

And we at Ci:Creative Intelligence are here to help you develop your Ci and that of your colleagues.