Drew Rowlands, director of development at IVE

Drew Rowlands, director of development at IVE

Teaching creativity as a transferable skill

Creative development agency IVE aims to improve employability and productivity by supporting the development of creativity as a transferable skill. Drew Rowlands, director of development at IVE, tells us why developing creativity is essential for inspiring the next generation and how these skills support individuals throughout their careers.

He said: “Human beings are creative; our creativity is both the product and the driver of human evolution and in order to combat the increasing challenges of our rapidly changing world, we must enrich and develop these skills.

“If the adults of tomorrow are to deal with the challenges around artificial intelligence, sustainability, globalisation, climate and demographic change, the children of today need to build significant reserves of resilience and creativity. Creativity can be nurtured, but can also be suppressed.

“In 1968, George Land devised a creativity test for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists. The assessment worked so well, he decided to conduct a research study to test the creativity of children and the results were staggering. 1,600 children ranging in ages from three to five years old were enrolled in a Head Start programme in the USA. Mr Land re-tested the same children at 10 years of age and again at 15 years of age. At five years of age, 98 per cent of participants had ‘genius’ levels of creativity, but by the age of 15 this had reduced to just 12 per cent.”

The same test, which has now been conducted with over one million adults suggests only two per cent have the same level of creativity as 98 per cent of five year olds.

Drew continued: “Mr Land concluded that non-creative behaviour is learned, and we at IVE seek to prove that the opposite is also true. We believe that creative behaviour can not only be learned, but also taught.

“To achieve this we offer a blend of activities and materials that enable people to understand and apply theories and definitions of creativity. We provide opportunities to build or rebuild individual creative capacities through reflection, playing with ideas and being playful, which is part of the creative process.

“Through immersion in the creative process and responding to creative challenges, we build the confidence and understanding of our clients so that they are able to apply what they learn to varied contexts.”

As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus generated by the services offered by IVE go back into the community to enable the delivery of talent development programmes for disadvantaged young people in some of the country’s most deprived areas. By targeting disadvantaged young people, the programmes aim to inspire and encourage creativity from a young age.

IVE’s consultancy services provide support, development and training to both business owners and their employees. Bespoke packages are developed around the needs of the business to promote innovative thinking and help unlock the creative potential of employees.

Prior to offering consultancy and training services IVE, previously known as CapeUK, spent 20 years at the forefront of research and thinking around creativity and the creative process, and is now sharing their knowledge to help the business community tackle the complex challenges the 21st century brings.

To find out more about IVE and the creative process, contact Drew Rowlands on 0113 322 3050 or drew@weareive.org.