We are happy to share the results (so far) of our latest survey about imagination. Thank you so much for completing the survey for us. You can still join in by going to our join in page.
In doing this research we didn't want to take anything for granted. Do we all, generally, within our day-to-day life, at work and at play enjoy being imaginative? Short answer, YES: 77% of people like imagining all of the time, 23% enjoy being imaginative sometimes.
How do we rate our imaginations? Are we confident about bringing it to bear? Well here is the good news: 17% of us think our imaginations are amazing, 50% think they are pretty good, 32% think they are ok and only 1% thought they had no imagination at all.
How often do we get to use our imaginations? Again great news: 23% almost every hour, 51% at least once a day, 22% at least once a week, and a sad 4% once a month.
What do we use our imaginations for? Interestingly, given that creative thinking was part of the job role for many respondents, we appear to be using our imaginations to solve problems more often than to establish a vision: 71% use it to think a way around a challenge as opposed to 45% using it to create a vision for a brand, service or product, 21% when discussing a point of view with colleagues, 24% to inspire colleagues, 17% for pure escape and surprisingly only 2% use it to encourage others to use their imaginations.
We wanted to know how happy people were in their roles. 30% of our respondents are very happy in their roles and 42% are pretty happy. On the down side however 20% are only OK, 6% are frustrated but OK and 2% are unhappy and very frustrated. Seen in the context of the next question it would seem using our imaginations is key to job satisfaction.
The majority of us think that there is a connection between job satisfaction and using our imaginations: 53% think there definitely is, 43% think there is to some degree, only 4% felt there was no connection. It would seem to us that this means for most people having their input and ideas valued is intrinsic to being satisfied in their role.
Having established how important imagination is to the enjoyment of a role, we wanted to find out how people bring their imagination to life: 42% do it by collaborating with colleagues, 35% by talking to a couple of colleagues but a tough 23% preferred to focus alone. So, we might conclude quiet, isolating working environments tend to discourage collaborative leaps of faith but that there is a significant minority who are happier depending only on themselves.
We asked people whether their environment affected inspiration. This is bad news for all those business books that suggest you get away from your desk: 53% said they can use their imagination anywhere, 32% feel they need a stimulating environment and 15% said that they just needed a change of scene.
We asked people if they used any speciific tools or processes to stimulate their imaginations. Again bad news for all those business 'help books' 58% said they didn't while 42% said that they did.
Do our colleagues like our ideas? Having established that we like imagining with our colleagues but our environment doesn't make too much difference and the majority of us don't need any processes or tools to prompt us, only 5% said their colleagues love all their ideas(!). Thankfully, 80% said colleagues liked some of their ideas while 15% said their ideas were well received occasionally. Would more of our ideas be well received if we considered our environment and had better processes or tools?
We asked people how often they were asked for their ideas. The really good news here is that nobody said never and we all seem to get asked for our ideas some of the time. 47% said all of the time, 53%said sometimes.
The results of this research lead us to believe using our imaginations or thinking ‘outside of the box’ would seem to be very important to us all if we are to enjoy our marketing, communication or creative roles. If this is the case it would seem logical that the best creative processes like the briefing process are the ones that give us all a chance to contribute.