Happy World Creativity & Innovation Week! Or, Insights on Creativity from Adobe

It’s World Creativity & Innovation Week! This annual event is a celebration that acknowledges, informs, inspires and encourages people to use their creativity. This year, it runs April 15-21, but the WCIW blog runs year-round to offer creativity news and insights.

While poking around the site myself, I came across the Adobe State of Create Study–a survey the company does each year exploring perceptions about creativity across the globe. By surveying people in five different countries (France, Germany, Japan, U.K. and U.S.), Adobe measures people’s perceptions about creativity at the individual, professional and national levels. I read the rest of the study, and it’s got some pretty interesting insights into how and what people are thinking about creativity:

As individuals, we highly value creativity. 

  • Globally, 3 in 5 people say being creative is important to them. In America, it’s 3 in 4.
  • A majority of people believe we all have the potential to create (88% of U.S. participants agreed to this statement.)
  • But, 40% of those surveyed stated that it is essential to have tools to create. (More than 50% agreed in the U.S.)
  • A majority of people prefer to create by themselves; 7 in 10 people surveyed
  • Only 1 in 4 people felt they were living up to their creative potential. Americans expressed the strongest concern that they were not living up to their creative potential (39%), while 84% of Japanese survey takers felt that they were were living up their creative potential.

People sense creative friction in the workplace.

  • There is a sense that people are given less opportunity to be creative in the workplace–80% of U.S. survey takers said there is increasing pressure at work to be productive rather than creative.
  • But, there is also a sense that there is an increasing demand for creativity in the workplace: 50% U.S. survey takers agreed that people are increasingly being expected to think creatively at work. This was the lowest percentage of any country surveyed.
  • People all over the world feel that time and money seem as the biggest challenges to being able to create, compared to self-doubt, other personal obligations, other work obligations; and age.

Creative identity changes by country. 

  • Globally, Japan was regarded as the most creative country. The only countries that did not rate Japan highest were U.S. and Japan–both rated the U.S. as most creative and Japan as second.
  • Globally, only 39% of those surveyed described themselves as creative. In  the U.S., 52% describe themselves as creative.
  • And yet, 82% of U.S. surveytakers felt we are not living up to our creative potential as a country. This was the highest of any country.
  • 62% US agreed with the statement that our creativity is being stifled by our educational system. This was the highest of any country, tied with France.
  • 70% of Americans agreed that as a culture, we take creativity for granted.

Obviously, these are merely snippets of the survey results. To learn more, read the full Adobe State of Create 2012 results for yourself.

Happy World Creativity & Innovation Week! How are you celebrating? 


6 thoughts on “Happy World Creativity & Innovation Week! Or, Insights on Creativity from Adobe

  1. Adobe also is participating in a celebration of World IP Day next week (the actual day is the 26th, I think Adobe is part of an event on Capitol Hill on the 24th). World IP Day celebrates the founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and WIPO’s theme this year is “creativity,” so there’s a nice nexus there!

  2. Fascinating. I’m glad that most of us don’t allow self-doubt, age, work and personal obligations to drive us away from being creative. Now how do we work on changing our perception that there is a lack of time and money preventing us from being creative? Somehow we need to step into the flow of energy that fires that spark within us to see that we need nothing else in order to begin creating right now.

    • Such a great question. I wonder if many people perceive creative work as something that requires a major chunk of uninterrupted time–when in fact you can exercise your creativity just by choosing to try something new when you cook dinner, or anything else you do on a regular basis.

  3. There does seem to be an increasing of pressure to be creative in the workplace coupled with increasing pressure to be (or at least appear to be) ‘productive.’

    The problem is that our work environment is built around people looking busy. Creative people can look lazy and unproductive while coming up with an idea. All too often they will be interrupted during this important stage and told to ‘get back to work’ which nips their creativity in the bud.

    If a workplace expects creativity, they have to respect the process needed to get there.

    Thanks for the link to this survey. 🙂 I hadn’t heard of it before reading your post.

  4. Pingback: You Are Not A Machine | Creative Juicer

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