Adobe CQ gives enterprise leaders the creativity boost they need

Discover your creative leadership aptitude with our CQ assessment

Abstract creative bubbles.

There’s no question innovation is central to success in today’s customer-first, experience-centric global marketplace. But organisational innovation doesn’t just happen. Innovation takes smart, strategic, data-driven thinking — and it requires creativity from its business leaders.

Asia Miles, a loyalty program run by Cathay Airways, is one example of an enterprise that takes a creative approach to business. Instead of awarding miles for travel and other traditional transactions, such as eating at partner restaurants, at the end of a given month, for example, Asia Miles rolled out a campaign that used blockchain technology to creatively expedite promotional mileage awards and improve customer satisfaction.

This customer experience enhancement, paired with clever gamification, helped loyal users boost their reward miles quickly and easily. It was a positive experience for both sides, driving 80% more dining transactions and 30% more new mobile app downloads during the first four weeks of the campaign.

Understand your creative potential

Today, creativity is a business imperative — everyone is expected to apply creative intelligence to solve business challenges and to help their respective organisations grow and succeed.

But creativity is difficult to teach, especially to those for whom creativity hasn’t been a central tenet of their careers. If you even can teach someone to think creatively, where do you start? And how do you ensure your creative problem-solving keeps pace — or, ideally, stays ahead of — the breakneck pace of technological innovation?

This was top-of-mind when I took the Adobe Creativity Quotient (CQ) assessment. With an eye on discovering my own creative persona — and gaining a better understanding of my own blind spots and strengths — I answered 15 questions that focus on five key areas where creative intelligence is central to success: culture, skills, technology, data, and experience.

My CQ results pegged me as “The Leader.” According to the assessment, Leaders are adept at creative thinking and inspiring others to be creative. We’re considered cross-discipline problem-solvers, constantly looking for ways to identify and act on new creative possibilities for our organisations. Then, to drive new opportunities, we leverage both existing tools and resources and the power of innovation.

While my first reaction was to feel very flattered, I certainly could not do what I do without my team — they are innovative creative thinkers, without question. Operating in a dynamic market like Asia, we are always exploring inventive approaches to fill the culture gap, accelerate execution, and better serve our customers. Supported by the company, and with relevant skills and technology training, we have unique opportunities to grow and thrive. We also have quarterly cross-function huddles where we exchange observations and brainstorm ideas, plus insights that emerge from our data intelligence team–all of this ensures we’re constantly informed and moving forward.

Adobe CQ also pointed out my area of greatest potential: skills. Creative skills such as data synthesis could be my next learning and development area. This is a good reminder — we can all dig deep and improve our skills and knowledge base. I will be bringing this to our next quarterly meeting with an eye on creating these opportunities for myself and for others.

That said, my work isn’t done. The Leader is also a persona that needs to focus on balancing skills teamwide. By focusing on what creative skills are lacking — and which are most important — I and my fellow Leaders can develop stronger, more creative, and more dynamic teams that can drive tremendous innovation now and in the future.

What’s next for CQ?

Fortunately, this assessment is just the beginning of our collective move towards creative thinking in business and innovation. Many organisations — Adobe included — are taking strides to promote and accelerate creative thinking. President Xi Jinping even spoke on the topic, recently discussing the unwavering need for creativity while speaking to an audience from math and science academies. Not only are these more traditional programs taking note, but schools such as the University for the Creative Arts in Xiamen are opening, promoting arts, culture, and an innovative approach to learning and creating.

That’s a win for all of us.

Looking ahead, it’s clear CQ isn’t going anywhere, and we need next-generation workers to understand and activate their own creative power. Without question, these traits and thought processes will be even more critical as organisations strive to carve out their unique positioning and points of differentiation in the post-COVID-19 marketplace.

In the future of work, thriving businesses will be the ones that can bring together human resources and artificial resources, and successful leaders will be those who recognise their creative blind spots and lean into, as Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen says, “the age of creativity.”

Take the Adobe CQ test to measure your creative aptitude and identify ways to enhance your CQ.

At Adobe, we believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, and we also stand with the Black community against hate, intolerance and racism. We will continue to support, elevate, and amplify diverse voices through our community of employees, creatives, customers and partners. We believe Adobe has a responsibility to drive change and ensure that every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We must stand up and speak out against racial inequality and injustice. Read more about the actions we’re taking to make lasting change inside and outside of our company.

We also know many people are still impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis and our thoughts are with you. The entire Adobe team wants to thank you, our customers, and all creators around the world for the work you do to keep us inspired during this difficult time.