"The purpose of the study was to get a gut feel for how people
are feeling about creativity today," Ann Lewnes, senior
VP-marketing at Adobe, told Ad Age . The release of the data
coincides with a campaign that Adobe is launching to market a new
service, the Creative Cloud, a suite of touch applications
available on Android and iPad devices.
Across the study data, people in the U.S. said they have the
highest regard for the value of creativity but also expressed the
most concern about the way creativity is valued.
In the U.S., 52% of respondents described themselves as
creative, the highest of all the regions. It was significantly
higher than France, which was 36 %, and much higher than Japan's
Overall, Japan rose to the top as the most creative country, but
Japanese respondents themselves didn't view Japan as the most
creative. Tokyo was deemed the most creative city -- cited by 30%
of people -- followed by NYC.
Six in 10 people felt that being creative is valuable to their
country's economy, while in the U.S. that number was seven in 10.
France was the country with the lowest number of people thinking
creativity is very important to its economy -- 13%.
Nearly two-thirds of all surveyed believe that being creative is
valuable to society. In all regions, more than half said they
believe that creative impulses increase during times of economic
uncertainty or downturns.
More than half of all the respondents said that the educational
system stifles creativity.
"The most disturbing data was on the state of education. ...
Teachers were perceived as the least-important judges for
creativity, which is troubling for the future and for youth," said
Ms. Lewnes, who pointed out that with severe budget problems, arts
programs are often one of the first things cut.
Respondents overall reported that they spent less time creating
at work than they did outside of work.
"We see that as being hampered by lack of time and the environment
they are in not being conducive to creativity," said Matt Norquist,
exec VP at StrategyOne, which conducted the research. "We clearly
haven't quantified the value of creativity in the workplace. ...
Productivity and creativity shouldn't be [contradictory]. If we can
get to the point where the two are brought together, that value can
be taken to the bank."
Indeed, respondents reported increasing pressure to be
productive rather than creative at work. In the U.S. and U.K., 80%
of people felt that way, while the number rose as high as 85% in
"That speaks to discouragement in the workplace for creativity,"
said Ms. Lewnes.
And despite the proliferation of open-space environments in ad
agencies and design firms, it's possible that such office settings
may be hampering rather than fostering creativity. Seven in 10 of
the respondents reported that they prefer to work by themselves
when being creative.
Interestingly, social media plays at most a minor role in
motivating people to create; less than 15% of respondents said it
plays a large role.
For more on the study, click here.