Australia is a highly successful and prosperous nation. However, we have ridden on our luck, especially in relying on our natural resources to get us through.
But in the 21st century being the lucky country isn’t enough. We have to work on nurturing our talent and inventiveness – in short, our creativity.
We pride ourselves on our innovation and creativity, but what is the truth?
- According to McKinsey we are not as innovative compared to other countries as we think we are.
- We tend to think of the artists and scientists as the “creative people”.
- Innovation is siloed into advanced manufacturing (a declining sector), biotechnology/medical research (a high profile, but very small sector) and a general cultural self-belief (but very few examples of systemic management and incentivisation).
Against this, we have reduced R & D incentivisation programmes and our venture capital industry is virtually stillborn.
What do we need to do?
Quite simply, we need to create and nurture a culture of success, happiness and integration within our communities, organisations and institutions. These are the keys to our future survival and prosperity as a nation.
What are we doing about our cultural creativity? Virtually nothing!
So where are we?
Our focus during the Industrial and Information Revolutions has been heavily slanted to the left-side thinking brain
Our schools are heavily focused on the traditional skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and now, social history, at the expense of social, cultural, emotional, psychological wellbeing. Up to three out of four government primary schools do not have access to music, arts or creative learning programmes. This in in itself puts Australia behind most other OECD nations and some third world nations which recognise the importance of creative learning.
There is a massive growing problem of social disintegration in our society - eg rising depression, youth suicide, drugs, homelessness, binge drinking, violent behaviours, child abuse and so on.
People are searching for greater meaning in their work and life at a time when the world has never offered so much abundance.
Q: What are we to do about it?
I welcome your comments and answers and will make some recommendations in my next post.
For further information and a range of programs to help you unlock the creative potential of yourself and organisation, please visit www.creativityaustralia.org.au