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New research reveal significant support deficit for creative thinking in business

Global brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide today published new research which reveals a significant gap between employees’ desire to be creative and leadership support for creative thinking. The research was conducted amongst more than 7000 employees in 11 markets: Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, UK and the US.

The research shows that whilst the vast majority of employees believe creative thinking is critical to business success, limited leadership support and workplace obstacles could be hampering both creative output and the ability to attract and retain creative thinkers. In the UK:
• 78% agree creative thinking is critical for the success of business
• 67% believe creative thinking increases sales
• But just 19% strongly agree their working culture encourages creative thinking
• And 54% lack confidence that their company formally rewards creative thinking
• 45% would change jobs for a company that supports creative thinking

The UK is amongst the least creatively confident of the nations studied:
· Only 56% believe they are creative, compared with 72% globally
· Only 40% say their company would allow them to take creative risks, compared with 51% globally

The research also revealed a contradiction at the heart of how many businesses seek to “be creative”: more than 30% in the UK report that their company’s key method of idea-creation is brainstorms, a technique that encourages narrow thinking. Further, only 11% believe ground-breaking ideas are frequently created under pressure.

Josh McCall, Chairman & CEO, Jack Morton Worldwide said: “In business, nothing is more powerful than creativity—it has the potential to inspire change and to transform how we work. None of us can take it for granted. But we need better understanding of what it means to build a strong creative culture that’s supportive of creative thinking. Until we do that business will continue to lose both opportunity and talent.”

McCall continued: “Creativity has always been at the heart of our business, from our founding in 1939 by a young entrepreneur named Jack Morton who was willing to take a risk and look very differently at how brands engaged people at business events. As we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2014, creativity is even more vital to our success, and our clients’—and that’s why we decided to sponsor this research.”

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