Creativity is in demand. Employers now prioritise creativity over knowledge and skills in areas such as mathematics as they realise that computers can perform these tasks better.
Imagination, thinking ‘out of the box’ and problem-solving skills are seen as highly desirable attributes in candidates for top jobs.
Education is following this trend. Forward thinking countries such as Finland have radically changed their schools programme to eliminate rote learning and tasks better suited to computers. Instead the emphasis is on imagination, problem solving and the fostering of ideas-based learning.
In that context, creativity of any kind, especially creative writing, scores highly. The UK currently lags behind.
In The Harvard Business Review in 2012, education and leadership writer John Coleman said ‘To those open to it, reading and writing poetry can be a valuable component of leadership development.’ (The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals, John Coleman, November 27, 2012.)
Who would have thought that a book with the title ‘What Poetry Brings to Business’ (What Poetry Brings To Business, Clare Morgan, 2010), would be a big seller?
Influential US businessman (electronics, steel, retail) and owner of Newsweek magazine Sidney Harman once told The New York Times, “I tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers. They look at our most complex environments and they reduce the complexity to something they begin to understand.”
If what employers want today is poets, what does this mean in practice?
Here is an example – you are seeking a new job, so you prepare a good CV and in it you state among your interests ‘reading and writing poetry’. You are called to an interview and (among other questions) you are asked to explain this statement.
You might say the words that someone in business said to me recently: ‘Poetry and creative writing has helped me in so many ways – in analysing problems and finding creative solutions, in communicating this to colleagues and in helping me deal with day to day emotions that arise when one is doing a demanding job. And when I go home, it helps me relax and to see my day from a different viewpoint.’
Every CV should allude to creativity in some way.
Creative Writing can help not just in therapy but in recovery too.
Christopher Burn FCA, ICADC, NAPT
Author – Poetry Changes Lives (2015) and The Fun We Had (2016)