Fostering creativity helps drive business success: report

| October 21, 2014

Is your business doing enough to foster creativity in the workplace? Adobe’s Michael Stoddart explains how creativity is linked to exceptional revenue growth.

Markets are so focused on productivity as a key indicator of economic vitality, that sometimes the human element — the creative spark that powers new ideas and innovation — is in danger of being forgotten.

When companies put creativity on the agenda they challenge their employees, competitors and their marketplace to push new boundaries.

Yet, despite the vital contribution creativity can make to business, new research has found that most senior managers (61 percent) still don’t believe their companies are doing enough to foster creativity.

New Forrester Consulting research, commissioned by Adobe, aims to quantify the strategic importance of one of the great intangibles in global business: creativity.

The Creative Dividend – How Creativity Impacts Business Results (2014), shows that what makes a company succeed — that ability to foster innovation; develop exceptional talent and leadership; and a high degree of brand recognition — is influenced by its creative perspective, practices, and culture.

Key questions were asked of senior managers from more than 300 large global companies across a diverse set of industries, to build an understanding of how creativity impacts business results. Participants included decision-makers from large enterprises in the US, UK, Australia/ New Zealand, Korea, Japan, France and Germany, all with influence in the purchase of creative software.

Companies that foster creativity achieve exceptional revenue growth relative to their peers.

The study shows that 82 percent of the companies surveyed found a strong connection between creativity and business results – while 10 percent admitted their practices were the opposite of what creative companies do.

More creative companies also enjoy greater market share and competitive leadership. Similarly, creative companies win recognition as a best place to work — a positive employee work environment is a fertile breeding ground for creativity. The majority (69 percent) of creative firms also reported winning awards and national recognition for being a “best place to work.” However, just 27 percent of less creative companies achieved similar accolades.

Of the companies that felt they fell short of creative expectations, 26 percent said they lacked innovative ideas and execution of the ideas that would enable them to stand out from their competitors and peers, and were operationally less efficient.

Companies today need to regard fostering creativity as not just a “nice thing” but a business necessity that drives measurable results. The requirementto communicate ideas and information with relevance and immediacy to employees and customers — wherever they are, on a range of multi-channel delivery platforms and devices — is critical to a business’ success. Companies that do so will enjoy benefits of increased revenue, commanding market share and leadership, greater employee retention, and increased customer acquisition.

Part of this process involves setting business goals for achieving creative outcomes, fostering collaboration with customers, encouraging the leadership team to nurture a creative culture in the workplace and funding creativity and ideation.

It is also paramount for businesses to be at the forefront of technology adoption, creating delightful customer interactions, as well as training for all staff. For large enterprises this could also involve hiring a Chief Creative Officer or Chief Design Officer as part of the executive staff to oversee the process.

The results of The Creative Dividend survey clearly demonstrate that companies putting creativity on the business agenda are succeeding and generating real, tangible business results.

Please register here to download the report.


Michael Stoddart heads the Digital Publishing business for Adobe in Asia Pacific. He leads a team across the region supporting Adobe’s enterprise and publishing customers as they transition to take advantage of tablet and mobile engagement. His longevity, industry knowledge and strategic vision have built significant awareness among Asia Pacific’s business and publishing community. Michael was a publishing consultant before joining Adobe, where he has since held executive marketing and sales management roles, putting him at the leading edge of customer interaction. Michael has a deep understanding of the challenges and requirements of Adobe’s customers and brings an empathetic ability to provide solutions for their needs.