In this article we join Jurgen Appelo in welcoming creative workers and we take a closer look at the evolution of work and problem solving, powered by creativity

One of the biggest milestones of technology is making knowledge accessible. The resources are expanding and growing, thanks to common global understanding and the increasing demand for the online access to high-quality information. This makes it much easier to acquire certain skills that maybe 10 or 15 years ago could be obtained only through a university degree or expensive courses. This trend will most likely grow stronger in the future, and in this context we start with a question: where do knowledge workers fit in?

Hello Creative Workers!

In a recent article “Goodbye, Knowledge Workers. Welcome, Creative Workers!” Jurgen Appelo states that the 21st century is the era of creative workers “who invest their time in experimentation and practice while continuously updating and replacing their knowledge“. The creative worker is the evolution of a knowledge worker – knowledge can not be the one and only capital, it creates value only when put to practice through a creative process.

“Thanks to ubiquitous information, the knowledge economy has turned into the creative economy. “

The conclusion would be: knowledge needs to be upgraded to a creative thinking level and put to practice daily with experiments. According to Appelo experiments significantly increase employee engagement and commitment – people are happier and more motivated when they experience something new and they have the potential of leading to bigger success.

Design Thinking as the business strategy of tomorrow

This train of thought leas to design thinking, that is becoming the problem solving approach of choice and main innovation driver in numerous companies. Great ideas often happen when 2 existing ideas meet – it happens through a brainstorming process, which is one of the most powerful ways to generate ideas, as it allows people with different experiences and backgrounds to exchange thoughts. Design thinking confirms Appelo’s conclusion that knowledge is not crucial when it comes to creative process and innovation – collaboration on the other hand is absolutely necessary.

[Check out our insight Design Thinking or The Art of Problem Solving]

If we look at the a framework for design thinking we see that creativity lies in the center of the process and it allows the new ideas generation and requires experimentation, testing and refining solution.

A Framework for Design Thinking by CreativityatWork


Creativity is about reacting and doing, just as defined by Stefanos Zenios, Professor of Entrepreneurship and a professor of operations, information, and technology at Stanford GSB, “Creativity is not rocket science. Creativity is a structured, systematic way to solve problems. If you are a successful executive in an organization, you are successful because you are a good problem solver. If you are a good problem solver, you are creative.”


Proactive, happy and creative, in a collaborative environment – these are the prerogatives of a modern creative worker. And it will most certainly become a standard in the near future, as companies realize that collaborative work is the key trend of the future.



Goodbye, Knowledge Workers. Welcome, Creative Workers! by Jurgen Appelo

Leadership guru Jurgen Appelo on “Managing for Happiness” by Goodgame Studios

How Design Thinking Improves the Creative Process by Steve Fyffe Karen Lee