How to master 'the most in-demand skill in the world': creativity

Published date20 September 2022
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
Wake up, spring out of bed, sketch a masterpiece, compose a poem, and knock out a symphony – all before you've even done your morning yoga. It must be amazing to lead a creative life. Or is that barking up the wrong tree? According to Kim Mackenzie-Doyle, director of the Institute of Designers Ireland, "creativity is not about art. It's about ideas, problem solving, critical thinking and mental agility. It is the most undervalued skill in the world and yet it is the most in-demand."

Can anyone be creative?

Mackenzie-Doyle reckons so, and that's the point about it being a skill rather than a talent. "We are all born creative, we are just educated out of it." On a mission to stop creativity being "used as a stereotype for people, or for colourful and trendy things", her B!G Idea project pairs industry mentors with schools to teach creativity by demystifying it. The woman who designed the world's best-selling computer mouse, while working with Design Partners, says "creative thinking helps us navigate out of setbacks, resolve conflict, and develop grit and resilience to keep moving forward".

Am I too old to start?

Never! But be prepared to go backwards as well as forwards. "Be okay with failing, celebrate it even. We promote 'flearning' – learning through failure. The trick to the whole process is to fail fast, learn from it and move on." Still not sure where to start? Stop beating yourself up. Remember it's okay to fail. Your idea might sound stupid. It might be stupid. Or it could be earth-shatteringly new. Get curious, ditch the fear and give it a whirl. When the only thing that can happen is minor personal embarrassment, is that really too much jeopardy?

Three steps to get you going…

All problems and processes are manageable when broken down, so Mackenzie-Doyle advocates a three-step process. Bounce ideas around; Storm – brainstorm and be open to all...

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