NEWS20 June 2017

Creativity being impeded by lack of diversity

Media News North America Trends

US – Creative professionals are ‘trapped in an echo chamber’ that is solidifying polarised views in society and impeding creativity, according to a report from Ketchum.

Diversity crop

Ketchum asked Fast Company to survey creative professionals about unconscious bias, insularity and sources of creative inspiration. More than half ( 54%) of those surveyed said that creative professionals work in ‘echo chambers'.

These echo chambers are created when like-minded people self-segregate and embrace information and ideas that support their opinions and beliefs, the report says. Of those who think that these echo chambers exist, most blame conversations with peers that confirm and align with their beliefs and assumptions, and news that confirms and aligns with their beliefs and assumptions (both 91%) as leading causes. 

The research also revealed that while 71% of respondents say that diversity of thought is valued by their organisations, 85% believe organisations must do more to encourage a diversity of ideas. 

In order to break free of these echo chambers, respondents believed it was most important to interact with people who challenge their beliefs and assumptions ( 95%), and learn about cultures that challenge their beliefs and assumptions ( 94%).

"This survey is a wake-up call," said Karen Strauss, partner and chief strategy and creativity officer at Ketchum.

"The effect social media has had on limiting interactions with people who disagree with us and filtering information so it confirms existing views extends to our creative process. These findings underscore the need to seek and embrace dissent to break free of conformity and groupthink."

More information on the report can be found here