“We are predicted to see more change in the next 10 years than the last 100”
As we consider the rate of change ahead of us as a species, it’s clear for all to see that creativity is going to be increasingly key for us to be able to adapt and thrive.
According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills—a collection of 250 researchers at 60 institutions—creativity is seen as the most important skill for our children to possess in the future.
Not only this, according to a global survey conducted by IBM of 1500 top executives in 60 countries, creativity was identified as the most desirable skill for CEO’s of the future.
If creativity is so important, it’s staggering to read in a study by Adobe that only 25% of respondents felt they were living up to their creative potential.
The great news in all this is that scientists have uncovered that flow is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, drivers of innovation and creativity and the more time we spend in flow the more time we are creative.
Research at University of Sydney gave participants problems to solve and found over 400% increase in creativity and problem solving when in flow but other studies including those done by the Flow Research Collective found up to 700%.
In flow, our brainwaves move from the fast-moving beta wave down to the far slower borderline between alpha and theta waves. It is this shift which enables us to flow effortlessly between thoughts without resistance and combine ideas in never seen before ways. Also playing a huge part on the creativity we see in flow is transient hypofrontality which is the temporary switching off of the prefrontal cortex. Most interestingly in this state our sense of self disappears – our voice of doubt and judgement quietens and we are more courageous and free to create. Added to this we become deeply focused on the here and now so all worries about the past or concerns about the future disappear, a huge creative enabler.
The great news is flow is trainable and comes with a wealth of additional benefits including a 500% boost in productivity (McKinsey), a 200-400% increase in learning and memory (DARPA) as well as increased wellbeing, resilience and collaboration.
To start the journey towards building more flow in your life, think back to your younger self, when do you remember being deeply in flow? Having asked this question to hundreds of people responses have ranged from playing a sport to baking cakes, painting or being in nature.
The challenge for most people is that as life has got busy, they have given up on this incredibly important trigger for flow when they have needed it most. When they give it a try and spend 90 minutes absorbed in their chosen activity they start to see the value it has to trigger flow in their life. The proof helps to focus our mind and encourage us to prioritise the activity we love.
So if you fancy more flow and creativity in your life, how about starting the journey learning from your younger self and if you want to know more, reach out we would love to share with you how we train our clients to build flow.
Creativity and the world of the future — Corporate Health, Workplace Wellness & Wellbeing is written by Amanda McMillan for www.wellineux.com