Listen to this episode here: Creativity, Curiosity and Courage

Welcome back to our blog series of Talking Numbers for 2021. The Podcast that was awarded “The Number One Podcast” in the Accounting Industry in 2020. Thank you, to our loyal listeners for your support! We will continually share ideas and thoughts, produce more educational content to help make the connection to take your business to the next level!

This article summarises our recent conversation with Wade Kingsley, the Founder, and CEO of The Ideas Business.

The Story of The Ideas Business

The Ideas Business was built on the belief that ideas do change the world.

In the creative services industry, businesses can go to “creative agencies” with a problem for a creative solution. But The Ideas Business is not about creating the ideas – they help teams get better at doing it themselves. Wade says it’s like leadership coaching. A leadership coach’s job is to help leaders be better leaders, but not lead the organisation.


He believes they are ready to start 2021 with a different approach by focusing on the important things. He hopes that all businesses can get the right support to get through and grow, to tackle 2021.

Wade believes that the best way to grow organisations is through creativity.


Everyone Is Creative

Wade often starts workshops and sessions by asking a question, “who here thinks they’re creative?” He says that the people that raise their hands are not really saying they’re more creative than others, they’re just more confident to say that they are.


He further explains, as kids, we’re all creative, we all start the same journey, even though we all have varied childhood, depending on socio-economic factors and family factors. As children, we have these innate abilities to create, to uncover, to discover, to be curious. Unfortunately, there are plenty of opportunities through life where people are defined as “creative” or “not creative” and some people believed these labels. A coaching role’s first task is to convince people that creativity is a skill everyone has.


But just having the skill doesn’t ensure success. Wade illustrates that, just like people need to get prepared to run a marathon, and creative problem-solving skill needs training too. The training is about practice, improve, make mistakes and try things out.


The Secret Behind Creativity

Wades introduces that his creative coaching session aims to help people build the recognition and acceptance that we all have creativity. These workshops try to build the awareness that creativity is a skill, which can be improved with practice. Wades emphasises that, there are three proven strength to improve creativity skills.


First thing Wade suggests is to keep curiosity alive from childhood into adulthood. Highly creative people are often interested in a lot of various things. And that’s a demonstration of curiosity. In an interview, Bill Gates was asked what’s the one thing today’s students need to know. He said it was curiosity. Wade’s workshops focus on keeping the breadth of curiosity. He lists several questions such as “what can be done”, “how to ask better questions”, and “how to define problems that you’re trying to solve in business”.


The second strength is interpreting and making connections, which is one of the hidden ingredients of creativity. Steve Jobs once said, “creativity is just connecting things”. Creative people don’t actually create anything, they just see things and make connections that haven’t been connected before.


The third core strength is called courage. People need to be encouraged to go out there with the intent of trying to change the industry. They understand that if it doesn’t work, they have their core competency of creating solutions. The reality is, creativity is simply problem-solving.


Creativity Boosts Growth in Revenue 

Wade spent 20 years in the media and marketing space where creativity abounds and found there’s certainly no shortage of creativity in media, advertising and marketing. If one industry does this so well, why couldn’t other industries? He started research to see how creativity can impact business results, no matter which industry.


One core study that set Wade’s business in motion was done by Forrester Consulting, back in 2014. It addressed the fact that creativity is an intangible characteristic. Many companies aim to cultivate creativity, or innovation, to attract exceptional talent or solve customer problems in different ways.


This research team spoke to a large number of firms across all different categories, accounting firms, law firms, design firms and finance organisations. And they found that the companies that foster creativity have achieved exceptional revenue growth more than their peers.


The study shows that compared year on year revenues, they could attribute revenue growth of 10% or more to creative endeavours. Those creative endeavours could be anything from the traditionally creative, which is the effort to attract customers through marketing campaigns and advertising, to internal creative endeavours, such as innovation in the process.


This was just one of many studies that Wade found. For every business in the world, their job is to solve a problem for a customer. If you use a more creative filter when you solve problems, whether internally and externally, you will see a return on investment.


Essential Elements of Future Jobs

The World Economic Forum’s Future Jobs Report, which was released in October of 2020, shows that the top three emerging skills are analytical thinking and innovation, active learning and learning strategies, and critical thinking and analysis. Those three things are of high demand within organisations in Australia.


In this report also unveiled the top three emerging and decreasing job roles. The top three emerging roles are Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists and Big Data Specialists. The top three decreasing job roles are data entry clerks, administrative and executive secretaries, accounting bookkeeping and payroll clerks.


Employers’ assumption is that if a machine can do that job, then the machine will end up doing that job 100%. What machines haven’t been able to crack yet? Human creativity and curiosity.


Wade addresses that his team is helping people keep curious, have that appetite for problem-solving, and have those skills around analytical and critical thinking.


Creative Leadership

Wades says that creative leadership means the ability to see solutions that haven’t yet been created. A creative leader has the competency to create multiple solutions and is able to try and anticipate problems that need to be solved; they don’t rely on the past. They also create the culture, to grow other’s mindsets.


Many great creative innovators and scientists saw the problem, then made great efforts to solve the problems. All the best innovation all came this way.


Another important part of creativity is to make allowance for the fact that people will make mistakes. And they will learn from those mistakes.

A Piece of Advice

Wade thinks one thing that the pandemic taught him. He had an initial panic moment. However, knowing it’s the market around him, he started thinking about how he could solve this problem. Creativity finds a way, and it was about trying to go.


Wade moved from their in-person consultancy and workshop model to an online virtual workshop and E-learning programme. He created a programme called the Creative Coach, which is an online learning programme where for 30 lessons, 10 minutes a day, you can improve your creative fitness by doing some exercises around creativity.


Wade suggests everyone faces problems and thinks about how you can solve them. Don’t think problems cannot be solved, because it just takes someone to believe that creativity is critical.