Creativity tops the heap. It’s the apex of “21st-century skills,” or those skills considered essential for children to thrive today. It’s the same ability that IBM -- after surveying over 1,500 CEOs -- found most critical to being a successful CEO. And, as mental health and successful aging have become national concerns, a bevy of research finds creative expression crucial to both short term happiness and long term satisfaction. Yet, despite being bedrock fundamental to so much that we want from our lives, creativity remains elusive: tricky to understand, nearly impossible to train.
In 2015, for example, the energy drink company Red Bull completed the first phase of Hacking Creativity, the largest meta-analysis of the subject ever undertaken. After combing through more than 30,000 scientific studies and conducting hundreds of interviews with experts, researchers concluded that creativity is, indeed, the most important skill for success in our fast-paced world. Unfortunately, they also found we have very little success teaching people how to be more creative.