May 16 2017
Creativity driven learning at CIPD

Last week we attended the CIPD Learning & Development show at London Olympia, and boy did we have a great time!

As well as meeting loads of friendly and ambitious people, we put one of our trainers onto the Topic Taster platform to give a 30 minute presentation on Creativity driven learning: a new approach. Michael Cassop Thompson was our chosen trainer, so onto the stage he went.

Learners are seekers of value

During Michael’s talk, he presented the idea that learners are the seekers of value. Gone are the days where you simply do a job to get paid, employees now want more; they want fun, entertainment, recognition, and, most importantly, development.

Creativity is fantastic for individual development and wellbeing, which means putting it at the heart of your learning and development strategy will give your learners fuel and increased engagement. It’s time to support the values that learners seek; as Michael put it, “organisations need to wake up and smell the coffin”.

Engaged learners are more likely to apply their learning and development to their role, as well as being more creative, absorbed and dedicated to the organisation. These learners also commonly display improved performance, are more fulfilled, and take greater pleasure from their work. This contrasts starkly with disengaged learners whose L&D experiences are often provided with an emphasis on organisational productivity and efficiency; frequently applied in a mundane one dimensional fashion more suited to the factory.

Where does creativity come from?

Was Steve Jobs born with creativity? Is it something we’ve developed through years of evolution? Maybe it’s just this unknown ‘thing’? Well, not quite. Michael explained that creativity comes from fragments. Ideas are founded on experiences, so giving learners the right opportunities allows them to collect more of these creative ‘fragments’.

Good resources, collaboration, and access to each other are just a few ways that learners can get what they need to develop. The opportunity for creative freedom results in highly engaged learners who begin to find the value in their role that they have been seeking.

What to do next

During the session, Michael gave listeners a few handy tips on using creativity in L&D. Whilst there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, these five pieces of advice allow you to start thinking more creatively when it comes to your organisation’s L&D.

1.Develop and support collaborative and unbounded thinking groups. Give learners the chance to meet and discuss.

2.Support the lone wolf. Group discussion isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean the lone wolf should be forgotten about. Try creative competitions and watch them grow.

3.Provide opportunities for developing fragments of rich experience. Whether that’s a team building day or a one-on-one discussion, learners’ fragments are only as good as their experience.

4.Use ‘thinking hats’ to address organisational problems and opportunities.

5.Look to lead users, they’re a very creative group and can give you plenty of ideas!

To find out how the Centre can help your learning and development strategy become more creative, get in touch on 020 7490 3030 or

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