Why we need to rethink ‘creativity’
November 19, 2019
Isabella Moore didn’t consider herself to be a creative type because she was never particularly artistic. She therefore finds it ironic that she works in a role which demands creativity and innovation. One year into her role at Accenture, Isabella has learnt that creativity is more about different ways of thinking and being able to unlearn habits of the past.
I can’t draw to save myself, and until recently I often said that I don’t have a creative bone in my body. In my work as an Application Development Associate, however, I find myself looking for creative solutions to diverse problems every day.
At university, I studied Applied Maths and Germanic Studies because those were my favourite subjects at school. I didn’t pay much thought to my long-term career prospects. At the end of my degree, I had no interest in pursuing a career in academia, so I started to research my other options.
I stumbled upon an ad for Accenture Tech Bootcamp on Facebook. I was already curious about data analytics, and the bootcamp offered a chance to learn more about it and to try something new.
At Tech Bootcamp we were put into teams of four or five, each of which were led by two Accenture mentors. We were given a project through which we could explore unfamiliar technologies and allowed our mentors to observe how we responded to these challenges.
A number of projects leveraged blockchain to manage supply chains, while others implemented Selenium to automate product orders and detail changes. Our project was to optimise the path of a drone. Our mentors gave us a 2D map of obstacles that our imaginary drone needed to navigate and instructed us to compute the fastest possible path that the drone could take.
I learned different ways in which I could apply my mathematical skills. I discovered that these skills enabled me to solve more practical, real-world problems. My coding skills improved hugely.
Tech Bootcamp was challenging, but also a huge amount of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the coding and problem solving. We played bubble soccer, which was a good laugh. The four days genuinely opened up a new world for me. I can remember the thrill of realising that software development was a career I could pursue.
My colleague and I working on a project
After Tech Bootcamp, I was offered an internship at Accenture. I was immediately placed on a document digitisation project, which integrated existing Optical Character Recognition technologies to convert printed text to digital data. Tech Bootcamp prepared me to acquire and develop the skills I needed for the project.
I always thought that your career was restricted by the degree you studied, but that’s not true at all. The Accenture mentors at Tech Bootcamp saw beyond my degree. Although I didn’t have technical skills, I had the right attitude and a curiosity for learning. And without realising it, I was already approaching problem solving with creativity.
To me, creativity is about finding new ways of thinking; of rejecting traditional ways of problem solving. It’s important to think critically about the way that things are currently done, but also to question the first way that you think to solve a problem. There is a high likelihood that that solution occurred to you because you applied it to a different problem. It may not in fact be the best solution to the problem at hand.
Thinking like this has changed how I work and how I approach life more generally. I enjoy automating my more tedious tasks; I know that I have the skills to find a better way to do something. Recently I was frustrated by the need to manually collect and record data about my income tax return. I developed a piece of code that calculates the data I need. It was a fun challenge to set myself, and my tax return next year won’t take long at all.
I still can’t draw, but I’m definitely creative.
You can explore your own creativity, work with other future innovators, and solve real world problems at the next Accenture Tech Bootcamp.
A ski trip with another member of the myWizard AiOps team