Should Creativity Professionals have basic competencies?

And if yes, then what would they be? Accountants have professional competencies, as do coaches and economists.  Politicians?

Since the 1950’s with the beginning of the Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo, NY and Alex Osborn’s coining of the phrase ‘brainstorming’ people have learned and used creative thinking tools and techniques to spark fresh thinking for practical purposes.

There are people who hang out shingles as Creativity Professionals to help people and organizations get new ideas and make new decisions.  Creativity Professionals, however, are all over the map in terms of depth of knowledge and experience.

Some CreativityBridging Professionals have extended learning in the subject. They’ve earned master’s and doctoral degrees in creativity.  Others get accreditation from week-long workshop certification programs. There are those who leverage what they’ve read in a book, or found on the net  (e.g. PsyBlog in next post) and there are others who leverage their own creativity as the expert base from which they work.

Are they all the same?  Do they offer the same services?

Should Creativity Professionals ascribe to a basic set of competencies? What’s good about doing so?

  1. Creativity Professionals professional development would be assisted. Standards for excellence would be articulated.
  2. Courses could be approved in learning institutions worldwide to meet the standards.
  3. A Creativity Professionals community to share knowledge and experience could form.
  4. Consumers of Creativity Professionals’ services would be apprised of evaluation criteria to use when making ‘hire’ decisions.
  5. Areas of creativity speciality could be described and focused upon, ie, person, product, process, environment to support, etc.
  6. Communication to others outside the field would be clearer.
  7. Entry into the field would have less of a ‘wild west’ approach.
  8. Mash-ups within other fields, i.e. economics, media, education, finance, innovation, etc. could be facilitated with intelligence and depth.
  9. What else?

I’ve noodled this notion for some time.  Wondering what it might be like if Creativity Professionals identified their tribal relationship in a formal way for improving creativity professionalism and the field overall. My keynote at the International Center for Studies in Creativity Expert to Expert conference May 17th covers this as well as discusses ethical standards for Creativity Professionals, and if we should have those too.

What are your thoughts, feelings, reactions, ideas?  Do you believe that Creativity Professionals should have a set of basic competencies and ethics?

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