“Creativity is good business and ultimately drives productivity and efficiency.”

If you are reading my blog, then chances are you already value creativity in the workplace, but you may be wondering if creativity really contributes to the bottom line.

Productivity and efficiency have been the traditional indicators of business health and performance. But what about Creativity? Does it lead to more business success? In other words, do companies experience a Creative Dividend? Adobe asked Forrester Consulting for help to answer these questions. The study surveyed senior managers from corporations across a diverse set of industries to quantify and qualify how creativity impacts business results.

See also: Can Creativity be taught?

KEY FINDINGS of the 2014 study on creativity in business

“Creativity drives business results.”

Adobe Creativity in business study

Adobe’s study found that companies that embrace creativity outperform peers and competitors on key business performance indicators, including revenue growth, market share, and talent acquisition.

They enjoy a high-performance working environment, driven by progressive leaders and managers who provide processes, methods, and funding to back creative initiatives.

Despite the perceived benefits of creativity, 61% of companies do not see their companies as creative.

In our survey of business decision-makers who influence creative software purchases, only 11% said their practices were perfectly aligned with firms readily recognized as creative. The majority (51%) said they were neutral or not aligned with creative firms, and 10% felt their practices were, in fact, the opposite of what creative companies do.

More companies that foster creativity achieve exceptional revenue growth than peers.

Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents that said their firms foster creativity had 2013 revenues exceeding their 2012 revenues by 10% or more. In contrast, only 20% of less creative companies performed similarly.

More creative companies enjoy greater market share and competitive leadership.

Our survey showed that creative companies are also more likely to report a commanding market leadership position with a higher market share than their competitors. Of those reporting market share leadership, creative companies outnumber their less creative counterparts by a factor of 1.5.

Adobe Creativity in business study

More creative companies win recognition as a best place to work.

A positive employee work environment is a fertile breeding ground for creativity. 69% of creative firms also reported winning awards and national recognition for being a “best place to work.” Just 27% of less creative companies achieved similar accolades. Creative companies in our survey create a high-performance work environment since 83 creative firms reported winning national attention while only 26 less creative firms did the same: a difference of 3 to 1.

Companies put creativity on the business agenda.

When we asked respondents to identify how they pursue creativity, the majority said they set goals around creative outcomes (58%) and collaborate with customers to achieve them (58%), with their executives prioritizing (55%) and funding new ideas (48%) that come out of creative brainstorming and ideation.

Adobe Creativity in business study

Creativity thrives with leadership support.

Regardless of the type of business or industry, survey results found that executives and business leaders should nurture, fund, and promote programs to increase creative capability, including early technology adoption, and encourage the creation of novel customer experiences that build bonds and increase brand loyalty.

Source: Creativity Drives Business Results, by Forrester Consulting (2014)

Adobe’s 2016 global study on creativity in business shows that creativity is more important than ever.

Key finding: Investing in creativity pays off with tangible benefits – from higher income to greater national competitiveness and productivity.


What creative practices do you implement in your workplace? Are you reaping creative dividends?


What will you do to foster creativity at work?