A digital, innovation-driven economy means that businesses will need highly skilled workers and deep talent. As the employment landscape undergoes fundamental changes accelerated by the pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat outlined in the recent Singapore Budget 2021 three enablers towards Singapore’s next phase of transformation—one of which focuses on developing the skills, talents and creativity of our people—emphasizing the need for Singaporeans to have both broader and deeper skills and creativity.
As we head into this new landscape, business leaders in Singapore and across the globe will be challenged like never before by a range of factors including a largely remote workforce, accelerated transformation, and elevated customer expectations. This will present opportunities for those who embrace a creativity-led leadership approach to thrive in this new year.
Based on the Adobe Creativity Quotient (CQ), here are five key trends on how to evolve and elevate creative leadership that leaders need to know for 2021:
1. Culture is the overarching factor that influences creativity
According to Adobe CQ, only 29% of APAC leaders have succeeded in creating a culture that embraces creativity. However, as businesses start moving towards a new normal, leaders must drive a creative culture, even in a hybrid digital analogue work environment. As the term “Working from Anywhere” becomes commonplace, attention should be paid to recreating or replacing the aspects of culture that require in-person engagement in order to cultivate a culture of openness and collaboration.
2. Data centricity only matters if you have the right data
Data centricity is key for customer centricity, which lies at the intersection of data and culture. However, only 36% of leaders effectively use data at the start of every creative process, and almost 20% use data retrospectively to post-rationalize creative approaches. An organization’s priority must shift to collecting and dissecting the right data for more strategic, meaningful, and structured use right from the start. Additionally, it is vital that the insights are contextualized by how the pandemic has changed customer behavior.
3. The line between functions within an organization will blur as delivering innovative experiences becomes a company-wide mandate
Deeper cross-department collaboration will become key to business success as organizations aim to become more agile with CX. It is vital for the C-suite roles to take joint ownership of customer experience, which will allow companies to understand the various aspects of customer journeys.
4. Focus on creative skill development needs to accelerate
In 2021, leaders have to look into fostering entrepreneurial skills that can be applied across business functions and roles. Adobe CQ insights saw just 25% of APAC respondents leading the way with driving creative skills needed to navigate transformation and change. As technology continues to advance, technical skills become less critical. Uniquely human skills such as empathy, critical thinking, and problem solving become more important as they play a crucial role in driving the success of an organization.
5. Leaders need to understand how technology can help augment human skills.
The emphasis on business leaders in 2021 will be on the importance of investing in both technology and skills to create engaging, valuable customer experiences that will endure. According to Simon Dale, managing director of Adobe SEA, leaders have to understand the power of an integrated customer journey management, which will be a key challenge in the path of digital transformation. Aspects such as the ability for organizations to rapidly take data from insight to action will be crucial in a business environment that is certain to be fluid and turbulent over the next year. For leaders, the challenge lies within recognizing this power to augment, enhance, and empower your teams.
Creativity for leaders means finding innovative solutions to problems. By challenging the status quo and inspiring their team to do the same, those who embrace a creativity-led leadership approach will excel in the new year.
To find out more about the creative leadership trends and Adobe CQ, feel free to read the full blog post here.