A Creative Workforce and the Secret of Success

In the 3Di office we talk often about the importance of creativity and imagination – for living and also for working. In our part of London – the East End – there is now a huge community or artists and ‘creatives’ – often working in small start-up businesses where innovation and ‘thinking outside the box’ are essential to growth and survival.

So where do our young people learn how to be creative, innovative, imaginative, independent, inter-dependent, self-reliant, resilient, etc? Is it from studying for high grades in five or more ‘academic’, government-approved GCSEs? Is the new-style ‘English Baccalaureate’ the be-all and end-all? Or does relentless focus on passing tests and exams actually reduce young people’s potential to become part of our creative industries?


Building the Creative Workforce of the Future

Posted: 10/04/2012
by Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

With over a million 16 to 24-year-olds in this country out of work, perhaps the responsibility to provide real employment opportunities for young people should fall upon areas of the economy with the greatest prospects for growth.

The creative and cultural industries is one such sector, contributing more than £36.3 billion to the UK economy every year and forecast to produce growth of around 31% between now and 2020. But if we are to provide the conditions to meet these projections, we need to build a highly-skilled workforce for the artistic and cultural sector (which is the industries’ R and D engine room), and for the wider creative industries themselves. The time to begin building that workforce is now.

Lack of fair entry routes to the creative and cultural sector has the potential to derail the progress of the industries, limiting both the talent that sustains them and their potential for growth.

The Arts Council has already begun to tackle this issue, discouraging the culture of unpaid internships by publishing guidelines that call on employers to offer high quality, openly recruited opportunities that pay interns at least the minimum wage. We also helped set up the first National Skills Academy for the creative and cultural sector to provide practical training, qualifications and support to young people looking to pursue a creative career.

Read more of this article here.


3Di will go on saying this until some of our readers and listeners are no doubt tired of hearing it, but there are SIX human intelligences (according to our model), and only ONE of them is our intellect. Who really knows about or cares about the other FIVE?

It goes without saying, we believe, that the neglect of ANY of our intelligences is detrimental to our potential wellbeing and our life chances. Such neglect will also affect our ability to control destructive emotions (emotional intelligence or EQ) and our ability to live and work creatively.

As social beings we desperately need to have high levels of social intelligence, and the key ability we call empathy.

The following article may seem to state the obvious, but read it anyway. Keep in mind that 3Di does not advocate lower levels of intellectual achievement, and we also maintain that it’s perfectly possible, as well as necessary, to develop all the other intelligences whilst continuing to raise intellectual achievement and academic attainment. We know from experience that enthusiastic learners who have creative opportunities to develop all of their intelligences actually achieve more in tests and exams. Previous blogs on Finland’s schools make this more than clear.

Could the Secret of Success Lie In Being a Little Bit Less Clever?

by Dr Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham
Posted: 9/04/2012


If you had a choice, would you rather be a good brain surgeon, or a good parent? Would you rather be a good corporate executive, or a good friend? Evolutionary Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa poses these questions in his new book The Intelligence Paradox, arguing too much store is placed on intelligence and academic success.

Evolutionary Psychology is a branch of science which contends that any feature of a person, such as their physique or indeed their personality, such as intelligence, must have evolved and spread across Homo Sapiens, because it produced ‘survival of the fittest’ benefits.

Dr Kanazawa, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, notes that those not blessed with a high IQ still seem to learn a lot without ever needing to be formally taught. It’s just that they’re good at learning things our formal education system never bothers to teach, grade or value.

Gang members who are expelled from school without any qualifications, seem to intuitively know how to make and keep friends, without ever having to be instructed. Indeed they may be better at forming strategic affiliations than those techies and nerds who remain top of the class, destined to be made partners.

Is it possible that the ability to make friends held just as much survival significance, if not more, than a high IQ in our evolutionary past? Do we forget this at our peril? Evolution is about strategies which endure successfully across millions of years, not just one or two business cycles. We evolved to make affiliations because for an extended part of our evolutionary history, it was what enabled survival. Having strong and supportive friendships predicted continued existence despite predators and warring tribes in our distant past, rather than a facility with algebra. Everybody then can make friends, everyone that is, contends Kanazawa, except for the academically successful, who end up at the top of hierarchies and running our societies, because IQ is overrated as the solution to life’s problems.

Kanazawa uses a famous psychological study of the most academically gifted to back up his argument.The Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth tracks the lives of more than 5,000 individuals in the USA who have been identified as truly gifted, with an IQ score higher than 155 – when the national average is 100 and the average graduate scores 120. More than half of this elite group (51.7% of men and 54.3%of women) have earned a doctorate (Ph.D., M.D.), compared to the population baseline in the USA of 1%. More than a third of the men and about a fifth of the women earn more than $100,000 a year in 2003-2004 in their early 30s. Additionally, 17.8% of the men and 4.3% of the women have earned patents, compared to the population baseline in the US of 1%.

In stark contrast to their stellar successes in education and employment, this elite do not do very well in domains of marriage and parenting, according to Kanazawa, indeed on various measures they even fall below average. Kanazawa can find no evidence of superior functioning in friendship, parenting or family life for those with high IQs across swathes of psychological research.

Another branch of behavioural science – Swarm Intelligence – is now also asking some new troubling questions about the disadvantages of ultra elite IQ. The term ‘Swarm Intelligence’ arose out of the observation that while an individual bee may not seem that clever, the whole hive possesses an aptitude way beyond the sum of each individual bee’s IQ. But corporations may be making a fatal error if they think the Swarm Intelligence of their organisation is simply a summation ofthe individual brainpower of each member. Because of a poor hiring strategy, it could often be a lot lower.

So the latest research on Swarm Intelligence – the study of the IQ or ability of groups, as opposed to the capabilities of individuals, suggests intriguing disadvantages groups of the dazzlingly talented suffer from, as opposed to more diverse ability ranges, which might help avoid financial bubbles and crashes in the future.

After all one deep puzzle of the last fiscal collapse was why so many brilliant ‘experts’ failed to anticipate the problem, and therefore botched acting early enough to prevent it. It’s a deeper paradox for this last crash than all previous ones, given the very brightest and best coming out of the education system are lured into finance these days, more so than ever before.

Read more here.

See also the Huffington Post’s links to further reading on ‘Swarm Intelligence’.


About 3D Eye

Gary Foskett and Clare Blackhall are educationalists, writers and consultants. We work with schools and other organisations who share our vision of how schools, businesses, etc should work in the 21st Century. We also run courses and contribute to conferences - speaking about our three dimensional model of intelligences and how schools, colleges and universities can develop the full potential of all their staff and students. We also offer consultancy for businesses and public sector organisations to support staff training and organisational change and development. For more detailed information read our blog at https://3diassociates.wordpress.com/ or see our website at www.3diassociates.com.
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2 Responses to A Creative Workforce and the Secret of Success

  1. 3D Eye says:

    Many thanks for all your support, and for your kind words and your continuing interest in our blogs, Brenna. Our intention is to help build a world-wide community of people who will fight for the human rights of children and young people, and especially for their right to enjoy their childhood and their education – wherever they may be, whatever their circumstances.


  2. brennagee says:

    This fascinates me. My own family has been a tiny unscientific experiment between intelligence and social relationships/parenting/marriage. I’ve learned intelligence/IQ cannot be the basis for a good marriage or good parenting. The human warmth factor is missing and cannot be regurgitated in lecture form.
    I love your posts. 3Di gets to the human aspects (all 6 intelligences) of education/employment/governing. I support your message.


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