Head of Programme Tracy Lynn Chemaly kicked off the second day of Business of Design by pointing out that she’d overheard attendees noting they had trouble sleeping the night before as they had so many thoughts running through their heads. She then introduced Rob Stokes, Red & Yellow chairman as MC for the day, with a presentation sure to keep other attendees awake at night.
That’s because Stokes explained why creative thinking is the most important skill of the 21st century. Certainly something to think about. He admitted that he may well have been preaching to the choir on the topic, but there was frantic note-taking all around me, so the message really hit home. Stokes made the session personal by sharing how he had slowly but surely become disillusioned with the industry he was in and, after fathering four children, his thoughts turned to the world we are leaving to the next generation. He emerged from an existential crisis. It wasn’t what the industry did but the way it did it that irked.
When having a quiet moment with our ‘supercomputers’ or smart phones, Stokes says we don’t realise they’re more powerful than the tech that took man to the moon; we forget how far we’ve come. As a parent, AI is of particular interest to him as it will replace most of the world we know today, so how will the next generation work?
This amazing advancement is technically destroying all the legal jobs in the world, says Stokes. It is already in use by the biggest firms in the world, currently taking on the role of paralegals. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The jobs that get automated first follow a pattern – it’s the non-routine manual ones that go first, but non-routine cognitive is still on the rise, so creative work is a relatively safe bet for the future.
Like an emergency or unplanned medical condition to treat, it’s innovation at heart.
Computers don’t live in our world and have our experiences, so simply being human is our competitive advantage over them.
Creativity in business is about spotting opportunities, making existing products or services better and applying a creative mindset to the opportunities and challenges that exist. It’s the logical business thinkers who can apply creativity to the situations they face that will succeed.
Unfortunately, we are still teaching the new batch of workers the previous ways of work.
Stokes shares the following eight ways to think more creatively: