How creative professionals can help boost economic growth

Their out-of-the-box thinking and unique problem-solving skills can help build an innovative work culture in the region

Seeking the help of creatives will build an innovative work culture that will lead employees to excel. Getty
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We live in a region that lays claim to some of the world’s leading brands. Now, it is time to see how creativity will lead to accelerated business growth.

Our ancestors, just like people in other parts of the world, often dedicated their lives to mastering a profession, be it carpentry or jewellery making.

When I pursued a degree in communication, I assumed that when I joined the workforce, I would dedicate most of my time to developing skills – such as content development and marketing – in my field.

Although I continue to do this, as my business grew I realised that for it to thrive and stay ahead of the game, I needed to master skills outside, and often unrelated to, my field.

I delved into everything from translation to coding and building websites.

These diverse skills allowed me to take on multiple projects outside my comfort zone, to become more resourceful, and provided me with a fresh perspective to resolve challenges.

I also came to appreciate how consulting with colleagues from creative backgrounds helped me to come up with innovative strategies.

Creatives not only bring a fresh perspective to the table, but they often have a way of explaining complex ideas clearly, which is extremely helpful during stressful times when we can’t push ourselves to think outside the box.

It became essential for me as an entrepreneur to consult with creatives because their unique insights helped me to better understand challenges and anticipate the needs of existing and potential clients.

This meant I was able to provide my clients with key insights and solutions to help them make better decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

After seeing first-hand how creative individuals added value to my business, I know that their presence on GCC companies’ boards and management committees is bound to do the same.

Some of the world’s leading brands and chief executives appreciate the value creative individuals bring and incorporate their perspectives into product development and the work culture.

In 2011, tech company Intel hired, from pop music group Black Eyed Peas, as a director of creative innovation. He helped to develop new products that appealed to younger audiences. Sales and brand awareness increased significantly as a result.

Google’s Creative Lab, which consists of designers, filmmakers and artists who are encouraged to think of innovative solutions, is responsible for developing marketing campaigns and products.

Leading founders and chief executives such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix's Reed Hastings invite creatives to speak to their employees and discuss various topics.

Creatives could also be invited to organise workshops for employees and speak to executive managers

GCC companies could gain creatives' insights by appointing them as board members and bringing them onboard as consultants for projects.

They could seek their help to build a creative and innovative work culture that will lead employees to excel and the business to thrive.

Creatives could also be invited to organise workshops for employees and speak to executive managers to discuss ways to overcome challenges and offer solutions.

This region is becoming home to world-beating talent.

Let's add more creatives to companies’ boards and management committees and witness how their innovative mindsets and fresh perspectives on business will boost our region’s economic growth.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications adviser based in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 4:00 AM