Surely creativity is the number 1 skill for the 21st Century. There seems to be no doubt about this. Both statistics and collective opinion are stacked highly in its favor.
Whether it is useful or why is it useful is not the question. The question is how to develop it to a level that makes it extremely useful and effective for people and societies?
The difficulties of developing and honing this fundamental skill are many, such as:
1. Creativity is more of a tacit skill
2. Unlike innovation, creativity is not based on previous accumulated knowledge.
3. Traditional management practices appreciate creativity but is a bit wary about its application. No one wants to be the first to stick out his neck to try out anything seemingly weird or novel.
4. No process is presently in place that helps people or organizations to develop creativity and hone it to create the finest edge to fight the ongoing battle.
5. The present educational system is anti-creativity, if I may say so since it stresses so much more on memory and standardized output from students.
How it would pan out only the future would tell. However, the present external causes might accelerate the development and use of creativity in all types of organizations and societies as we move more towards distributed economies that would focus more on Culture Based Design and Economies (http://post.ly/1oWoV).
Nonetheless developing Creativity as a number 1 skill for the 21st Century would also pose as the number 1 challenge of the 21st Century.
Much would depend on the self organizing property of our human societies and our willingness to relinquish the ‘control freak’ syndrome.
Needless to mention that organizations and nations who would adopt it as a priority would survive the turmoils and uncertainty of the 21st Century.
Breaking Free (http://bit.ly/hFauBy) proposes the solution of Observation Based Learning that would lead to the development of this number 1 skill for surviving in the 21st Century.
It is more in the mind than in the hands. That is the tough part.