Is this the no.1 predicator of success?

As early as 2012 there was increasing discussion on the benefits of creative thinking and the role creativity plays in building a happier and more fulfilling life.

A study that year conducted by Adobe “Creativity and Education: Why it matters”, shed light on the role of creativity in career success and the fact that unlike some earlier wisdom, creativity is not just a personality trait, but a skill which can be learnt.

Some 85% of the 1,000 people surveyed agreed that creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their careers. They defined creativity as the ability to think outside of the box or to come up with innovative ideas.

What was also interesting was that 57% thought creativity would be important in their career while they were at college or university, but this grew to 78% when they were asked during their working years.

In 2016 Adobe expanded the study to over 5,000 participants. In that study titled “State of Create“, 70%, of people acknowledged that being more creative is valuable to society and economies and that it makes people better workers, leaders and parents. The study highlighted that people who are more creative are happier, feel more fulfilled, energized and successful.

Late last year in an article in Business News Daily, Cade Miles daughter of Gatorade inventor Dr James Cade and President of the Cade Museum and Ron Ben Zeeve, founder and CEO of the World Housing project, talked about their belief that creativity is the one attribute that should be valued above all others.

They argue that creativity is a bigger predictor of success than intelligence and the combination of both convergent and divergent thinking is what delivers creative breakthroughs.

In their view, creativity can be learned and creative thought processes can be improved and strengthened. New skills and hobbies can lay down new neural networks and learning a new art form can create problem solving skills as it requires divergent thinking. That through creative collusion – the ability to connect two distinct areas – we can translate potential solutions from one field to an unrelated area.

They also recognised the importance and contribution of the ability to learn and observe from others to not limit yourself to your own experience. That often it is the collective power of the group that can unearth the best solution.

In his best-selling book “Think Smart”, author and neurologist Richard Restak acknowledges how critical creativity is in solving problems and that we can always learn new techniques to be more creative.

One of these is to devote time to simply sitting with our thoughts. To give some space to our imagination. How often do we find the answer to a well-trodden problem in the quiet of the night, or while daydreaming, relaxing or enjoying nature?  

So, as we think about learning and development and the human endeavour of building more fulfilling and happy lives, there is a growing body of evidence that a key focus needs to be on making the space and time for experiences that can build our creative muscle. That by immersing ourselves in new environments and creative activities and opening ourselves to inspiring people who bring different perspectives we can truly unlock the best versions of ourselves.

Its not surprising then that one of the world’s great innovators and creative thinkers, Albert Einstein acknowledged the power of creativity when he said, “Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will take you everywhere.”


At Creative Cities 21, our 3-week vacational learning programs are at the forefront of the next wave of learning and personal fulfillment. By combining a passion for travel, creative exploration and learning, and getting to know new and inspiring people, we can help build your creative confidence and communication skills. 

Click here to find out more about how you can join us this August for our Creative Cities 21 New York Program.

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