Creatives have largely been limited to roles in creative departments (e.g. advertising, 3D modeling, user experience design, etc.) in niche industries. But us Creatives have a very unique set of skills that make us good at… well, everything. These skills are extremely versatile with infinite potential that can – and should – be utilized everywhere, not just creative departments.
So here’s my 6 reasons why Creatives k*ckass at everything…
Reason #6: Creatives Are Natural Design Thinkers
Creatives are natural Design Thinkers because we developed Design Thinking in the mid-20th century as a distinct process to design homes, technology, and consumer goods by thinking about the people who would eventually use those things.
It utilizes elements from our toolkit like empathy, integrative thinking, and experimentation to provide evidence that informs the process, so that we can make design decisions based on what future customers want instead of relying only on historical data or making risky bets based on instinct.
This creative approach to problem-solving is just another tool in our creative arsenal that can be applied to solve any problem.
Reason #5: Creatives Feed Off of Adversity
Creatives don’t run from adversity. We embrace it.
For us, adversity is where the creative process starts.
A problem is nothing more than an opportunity to create something better. To see things differently. To discover new paths forward.
Additionally, we thrive on collaborating within diverse teams in order to hear a variety of perspectives – including opposing views – because we know that these can lead to bigger and better ideas.
Reason #4: Creatives are Systems Thinkers
Creatives are a naturally curious, often
daydreaming brainstorming new ideas and creative solutions to difficult problems. Where others see a blank canvas, we see full-scale solutions without having to understand – or be constrained – by the limitations of technology.
This is due to the fact that Creatives are systems thinkers, which involves moving from observing events or data, to identifying patterns of behavior, to surfacing the underlying structures that drive those events and patterns. We internalize all of this and continue to pull and shape our mental models, perceptions, and data into innovative concepts and solutions. We can even do this when we’re not focused on the problem, as our subconscious minds continue to design and iterate!
This system thinking ability is natural for Creatives, because we embody curiosity, clarity, compassion, choice, and courage.
Reason #3: Creatives Have Higher Levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Creatives have higher levels of emotional intelligence (EQ), which makes it easier for us to empathize with customers by engaging, listening, and learning from them; which is the secret to building awesome products.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include four core skills: emotional self-awareness, social awareness (empathy), self-management (motivation), and relationship management (social skills).
Reason #2: Creatives are Visual Thinkers
Creatives are intellectually curious with a deep and persistent desire to know and constantly ask “why?” One of our primary advantages in learning and ideation is that we’re visual thinkers, where we think through situations, information & data, and problems by visualizing them in our minds.
Most people are overwhelmed by the unlimited data and information that surrounds us everyday, and yet creatives are able to leverage this ability as visual thinkers to organize large amounts of data, which improves our ability to think, communicate, and convey complex information.
This helps Creatives in just about any creative endeavor, including product development, where we can easily develop new products and feature ideas simply by visualizing them in our minds!
It’s an extraordinary capability highly unique to Creatives, and one that provides a distinct advantage over left brain thinkers. And since Product Managers are responsible for developing the product vision & strategy, you should highly consider a Creative for this important responsibility.
Reason #1: Creatives are Visionaries
Creatives utilize all of the above skills – visual thinking, emotional intelligence, systems thinking, design thinking – combined with the spark from adversity to unleash our infinite creativity to solve problems with ingenious solutions.
It’s the ability to see opportunities where others see problems, to make complex ideas simple, and to passionately seek to change the world for the better.
That is what it means to be visionary.
Creative vs Engineer Battle Royale: Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates
The battle between Steve Jobs “the creative” versus Bill Gates “the engineer” is the ultimate battle of the minds. Both were extraordinarily brilliant and developed great companies. However, Bill was a convergent thinker and was often constrained by his limitations of hardware and software, where Steve transcended technology with divergent thinking by developing new product ideas without having the technological solution to build it.
Steve utilized Strategic Design to continuously innovate by launching the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, not to mention redefining commerce with iTunes and Apple retail stores.
He built Apple into one of the most valuable companies on the planet with a market cap today of a trillion dollars, a distinction that only one other company has ever achieved (and it’s not Microsoft).
Microsoft simply could not keep up with Apple or the technology space and came close to irrelevance in early 2000’s by launching several failed products (Windows Vista, etc.), and was only more recently pulled back from the brink of extinction by Satya Nadella.