Future leaders take note. By 2020, research says creativity will be the third top skill to leverage as a strategy at work; complex problem-solving and critical thinking are one and two respectively[i]. While technological innovations are welcome opportunities, it also raises concerns of job and skill instability.

How do we prepare and navigate for this change? Companies and people looking to address this workplace uncertainty challenge will need a vision and a process for transformation that is not only intentional, but measurable and actionable.

Here are five reasons how creativity as a skill drives leadership success. Learn how it integrates as a talent development strategy and accelerates business performance.

Authenticity is essential

“To thine own self be true”. Brands and people alike aim to share their unique voice to their target audience that is both relevant and engaging. This is often realized best when a strong understanding of self and purpose is defined and developed.

Self Awareness is key to gaging the temperature of an environment and your ability to respond in a way that is appropriate and meaningful.

Properly developed, this will not only help to inspire confidence in leadership skills, but also empowers the repositioning of an individual looking to grow their career as a senior leader or a business strengthening the voice of their brand in their respective industry.

Change is an opportunity to influence

As a skill, creativity strengthens and enables agile thinking and doing. To use flexibility and adaptability as a practice effectively, instead of just as a theory will help facilitate initiatives that are responsive, forward-thinking and relevant.

This is a powerful resource when looking to manage and navigate change; potential recruits and existing talent looking to stand out as a potential leader should know how to leverage thinking strategies that will help to not only highlight their expertise and contribution potential, but also their personality and ability to connect and collaborate.

Champion collaborative leadership

As a leader, you are expected to build and lead interpersonal cohesion. Technology innovations underscores this even more so in the global shared economy, in which we all live. Organizations today are continuously looking for best approaches to mitigate business performance risk, manage and develop people cultures and remain competitively relevant as a brand in the corporate marketplace to their customers.

The people centric approach has now become the core focus of all aspects of doing business effectively. Emotions and expectations of both the customer and the employee must be aligned with the brand experience of a business for loyalty and retention.

The challenge then becomes to navigate these pressures expertly, while ensuring minimal chaos in this time of organization disruption.

Successful examples of collaboration will become the models of the standard of practice when diversity is recognized, represented and championed.

Empowering the fair voice of representation and inclusion for gender, personality, culture and work functions establishes an environment for positive interpersonal relationship dynamics and creativity consciousness.

Problem Solving measures readiness

Yes, problems will come, it is a guarantee, but if you have an apt ability or learned expertise to define a problem correctly and a process for solution discovery, your capacity to lead effectively will be resounding.

Design thinking and management for business and individuals is quickly becoming the go-to strategy in answering the question of ‘how do we get there’.

Process methodologies from a macro-level like Google Ventures’ Design Sprints for organizations and the Pause, Reflect, Act® coach-mentoring approach, on a micro-level for individuals and teams by Dr. Patricia Comley, a Toronto based neuroscience learning strategist creates opportunities for learning how to define and understand key issues, while providing solution-based approaches that are relevant, specific and tailored to the long- term goal of a successful strategy execution and application.

Decision Making proficiency and expertise

Great leaders are effective and are skilled in decision making. When purpose and vision are aligned, leadership buy-in confidence is more easily gained as the solutions and objectives are now complemented. Deloitte’s 2017 millennial survey identifies the aspirations of millennials to find meaning at work. This group, born after 1982 connects engagement, retention and loyalty in their job by their employer’s responsiveness and interest to commit to leading positive social change and impact[ii].

Bringing this into focus will identify, and clarify, shared vision and goals of organizations and the people working or looking to work for them.

Organizations continue to explore talent development initiatives for internals and new recruits. Understanding how millennials and new young professionals base their values and the impact of their decisions is critical to fostering employee growth and development.

For the new leaders, the commitment to decisions will be strengthened when you are able to strongly identify with an act that is true and meaningful. This then will help to inspire your leadership confidence and ability, while empowering your creativity.

How do you begin building the skill of creativity for future leadership roles? Start by asking and thinking of questions, which fuel curiosity, build social-emotional skills like empathy and social responsibility.

[i] World Economic Forum, The Future of Work 2016

[ii] Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey