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The Rise of Creative Intelligence

Anders Sörman-Nilsson (LLB / Global Executive MBA)

Futurist, Author and Media Commentator

The future arrived sooner than we thought it would. We are all participating in a global future of work accelerator and the only certainty is that radical uncertainty will continue into the foreseeable future. Disruption is a signal from the future that it is now time to reassess our beliefs about what holds value, and what type of thinking will emerge triumphant in a post-COVID-19 world. With the world in flux, we've seen the future of work mega-trend compress and quicken - and today, our ability to be agile, collaborative and adapt to customer and team situations is more important than ever.

Human intelligence is about to get augmented by artificial intelligence. This certainly is a good thing as the emergence of machine learning could reveal the dawn of a humanist 2nd Renaissance - a veritable explosion of human-centred creativity. A new era where humans can focus on meaningful outputs, while machines take care of routine inputs.

The future of creativity is about combining the best of human resources with the best of artificial resources.

If previous eras have mined talent for IQ and EQ, it is time for humans to step into our creative human intelligence and amplify our Adobe CQ (creativity quotient) with the best that technology can offer, helping to drive our advancement and tackle global problems. This begins with identifying what your creative potential is as a leader.

In the augmented age, our output will be increasingly judged based on its creativity, connecting of dots, hacking of processes, 'doing more with less', and 'changing the game.’ Which means a team leader's primary role will be to nurture, empower, and lead troops who effectively collaborate and produce paradigm-shifting brands, products and services - teams whose ideas are powered and amplified by technology. Consequently, we need to diagnose where we have creativity blindspots and how to bridge the future gap. On this journey, leaders will need to nourish skills like pattern recognition, relationship building, storytelling, and transformation narratives to ensure their teams are future-proofed.

Tractors, machinery, and precision technology have helped humans excel and amplify our potential across industries - from farms to factories - while boosting our productivity exponentially. We stand at the dawn of an era of artificial intelligence which will help us accomplish the same with creative work. We need to be mindful that just as physical and routine work has been impacted by technological advancement and labour saving machinery, so will knowledge work, and as it does, one side of the brain will be more commoditised than the other. Machine learning excels at logic, sequence, mathematics and data science (left brain thinking), but still plays an augmenting role in creativity, innovation, synthesis, and storytelling (right brain thinking). With AI helping us excel at the process and limiting our human data drudgery, we can dedicate our strategic selves toward optimising creative output, no matter whether this is through data visualisation, foresight or silo integration which enable teams to get on with creative hacks.

Whatever cannot be digitised will have a premium placed on it in the future, and thus creativity will emerge as the key leadership skill of the post-COVID-period. Hence, we must invest and nurture our leaders’ abilities to accelerate this cognitive revolution.

We cannot predict the future. But we can prepare for it. And the closest we may ever get to ‘predicting’ the future is to create it. Yesterday our world changed. Today it is our time to create a better one.

This transformation journey begins with placing our leaders’ creative potential at the centre of humanity’s cognitive response. When their creativity is compounded by technological prowess, we can create a more hopeful, inspiring and sustainable future - one that started with a creative idea that was nurtured, led, and invested in. This creative renaissance awaits those willing to pen its narrative.