New research by Microsoft suggests that UK businesses are at risk of a creativity crisis because of a failure to encourage and support creativity within their organisations.
The research found that 40% of UK workers surveyed reported that innovation was not encouraged in their workplace. Major factors highlighted as hindering creativity included uninspiring workplaces (41%), a stressful atmosphere (34%) and a lack of appropriate spaces to focus (28%).
New research presented at the Word Economic Forum at Davos highlighted the key skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the top three skills being ‘Complex Problem Solving’, ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Creativity.
Gareth Loudon presented some of our new research work on ‘Real-time Biofeedback of Heart Rate Variability Measures to Track and Help Improve Levels of Attention and Relaxation’ at the ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference in Singapore in June.
We have secured a 3-year contract to provide management and business innovation training to organisations across Wales as part of the Leading Business Growth programme, jointly run by Bangor University and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
The effect the physical working environment has on your creativity has been getting more attention over the last few years. Previously Kursty Groves wrote a book on Creative Spaces in Business and now has a new book out on Spaces for Innovation: The Design and Science of Inspiring Environments where she highlights the “increasing importance of creativity in many industries” and explores the “relationship between the physical design of working environments and levels of creativity and innovation”.
The BBC also recently ran a story on the future office highlighting changing trends in office design to try and support well-being amongst staff through the design more playful work spaces, but also through supporting more options in terms of remote working.
Another key trend has been the growth in co-working spaces that have tried to support new ways of working and collaborating to encourage creativity. Traditionally they have focused on supporting freelancers and entrepreneurs, particularly in the technology industries, but they are also being used by more established companies, providing employees with flexibility on where they need to work and with the chance to connect with people from different organisations. It also keeps the office rental costs down!
Anita Füzi (with the support of myself and Prof. Nick Clifton) has been looking at the role of co-working spaces in supporting creativity and innovation in Wales and the challenges faced. You can read more on Anita’s work in the publications section.