Daily Inspiration: Innovation & Creativity – “Invest in your creative capital. You’ll see a return on your imagination!”


“Invest in your creative capital. You’ll see a return on your imagination!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

The thing about the image is – it certainly caught your attention. That’s the whole point of creativity!

I used a face-swap feature of an AI to generate an image of a punk rocker, backing it onto an image that implies extreme levels of creativity – I used Poe to generate the MidJourney prompt.

I digress.

I use a very expensive research tool – Dow Jones Factiva – to do the hard-core research I need to do for my client projects. Yesterday I was immersed in the very complex topic of how pharmaceutical clinical trials might be accelerated and changed as a result of the increasing use of AI – the potential direction of a potential upcoming keynote early next year. If you ever want to go through over 1,000 articles of very complex research reports, summaries of scientific papers, and medical journals, go for it – this is how I do what I do as a futurist.

Later in the day, though, I needed a break. I used the same research tool while fooling around with an AI image creation tool to find if there were any recent studies, research reports or surveys having to do with ‘leadership and creativity.’ And I certainly found a lot!

First off, wasting time on frivolous creative pursuits is simply good for our mental health! (The bolding is mine.)

Maya Angelou was an American poet, writer and civil rights activist. She is famous for over 50 publications including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings“. She was part of the inauguration of President Bill Clinton on Jan. 20, 1993 when she recited her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning”.

Her works continue to be inspirational including a quote on creativity. She said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” According to Oxford Languages by Google, the definition of creativity is “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”

Why the discussion of creativity and what does it have to do with our health?

The impact of stress on our health including mental health is very well documented. The question becomes what can we do to improve our mental health and relieve stress.

The American Psychiatric Association tracks timely issues related to mental health with surveys issued to a representative sample of U.S. adults throughout the year. A survey released from June 15 to June 18 reported the poll results of 2,202 respondents about ways they reduce stress and anxiety.

The survey found for those who reported their mental health as very good or excellent were more likely to engage in creative activities. These data were compared to respondents who indicated their mental health was fair or poor. The poll showed these individuals were less likely to engage in creative activities.

Creativity’s impact on health
20 August 2023, The Courier

Apparently, it’s a really good idea to just go off and waste some time like I did:

Sixty-five percent of those polled engaged in creativity during their free time. Others use this technique during work or times of crisis. Thirty-seven percent become creative when they were bored.

Creativity’s impact on health
20 August 2023, The Courier

The thing is – when we explore our creativity boundaries, we aren’t just wasting time – we are enhancing much-needed workplace skills:

A new study from TalentLMS shows that nearly two-third of HR managers feel AI is changing the skills needed in today’s workplace.

As the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation continues to grow in the workplace, a recent survey of HR managers conducted by TalentLMS sheds light on the required skills and the challenges faced by companies, while navigating the AI era.

The research, which surveyed HR managers across industries, found that 64% of HR managers acknowledged that the rise of AI is transforming the landscape of in-demand skills, with 65% of respondents believing digital skills, interpersonal skills, and cognitive skills will be crucial for success in the AI era. According to respondents, the top three in-demand cognitive skills in the AI era are: problem-solving; creativity, originality and imagination; and ability to learn.

Problem-Solving and Creativity Are the Most In-Demand Human Skills in the Age of AI, According to HR Managers
13 July 2023, PR Newswire

So I’m investing in my future by wasting time.

That’s a good thing because I will be doing more of this – AI will give us even more time for creativity!

With the AI revolution well underway, the technology is being touted by corporations and experts alike as being a game-changer that will completely revamp how people work. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2023 asserts that people are welcoming this change as the pace of work has increased exponentially.

The study surveyed 31,000 people in 31 countries and analysed trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals and labour trends from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. It found that people are drowning in data, emails, meetings and notifications, leaving them less time for creative work.

This “digital debt” can be alleviated by AI, according to the report, freeing people to focus more on creative work, and in turn, fuel innovation.

AI will help reclaim time for creativity, reveals Microsoft’s annual work trend report
9 May 2023, Indian Express Online

So go ahead, play, waste some time, and generate a picture of yourself as a punk rocker in a creative wasteland. I guess I will have a lot of time to do this as I perhaps one day, eventually head off into the land of retirement.

Play more! Explore your creativity! Your imagination will thank you for it!



THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.