The Creative Advantage of ADHD in the Workplace
According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, 4-6% of American adults live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adults living with ADHD tackle impulsivity, forgetfulness, distractibility and time management difficulties daily which may lead to negative performance in the workplace. Though perhaps the positive side to having ADHD, as psychologist Holly White has recently argued, is that individuals with ADHD possess a certain creative edge which is down to three components of cognition: divergent thinking, conceptual expansion and conquering knowledge constraints. MIT professor Alan Lightman explains the concept of divergent thinking as our brains are running through many combinations of ideas until a good one emerges from a single point of origin. This frame of thought, Lightman concludes, emerges from taking downtime, or play time, as opposed to the typical mental straining that most people turn to in order to arrive at new ideas. Lightman points out that non-ADHD individuals need to give ourselves time for the type of creative, uninhibited and imaginative thinking that individuals with ADHD often excel at when applied to specific tasks according to recent research. In measuring and comparing the creative ability of ADHD and non-ADHD individuals, there is growing evidence suggesting that young people with ADHD demonstrate an enhanced ability in overcoming the constraining influence of examples. There is real value in being able to think beyond the constraints of conventional knowledge, in short, creative innovation emerges from non-conformity, imagination and originality of thought. The innovative, original thinking style of people with ADHD may be a great fit for innovative fields where it’s an advantage to be on the cutting edge.
As more studies on the connection between creativity and ADHD come to light, it is interesting to note that the World Economic Forum rated creativity as one of the top three skills workers will need in 2020 as part of a report on disruption in employment as we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The report reasons that creativity is one of the skills that robots cannot yet replicate and supersede humans in that function. Currently, there remains a lack of insight into how people with ADHD manage their productivity in professional settings. Despite the in-flock of studies showing how a high level of creative thinking can emerge from neurological disorders such as ADHD, there is still inadequate resources put in place to foster positive engagement and management skills for workers with ADHD. Individuals living with ADHD can require equal access to opportunity to showcase their creative potential in the workplace. Clearly it would only be in the best interest of employers to provide resources to include and nurture the creative potential of young ADHD individuals, to keep up with the rapid disruption in industry.
Tapping into Creative Energy through Greater Neurodiversity in the Workplace
The organisation HADD Ireland estimates that 10 percent of the population is neurodivergent in some way. Neurodiversity, a term that is beginning to permeate HR departments, refers to individuals with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s, and extends to other conditions such as bipolar disorder, OCD etc. HADD has championed the inclusion of neurodivergent people in the workplace, as well as companies such as Uptimize, who deliver training on how to sensitively recruit and manage neurodiverse staff to clients including Microsoft, Google and JPMorgan.
For young people affected by ADHD, maintaining consistent focus is challenging but empowering. Cortechs is helping young people with ADHD tap into your creative energy by giving your brain time to play. CereBrill application is designed to assist you to improve your attention. The platform, which is launching later this year, is a link between clinicians and individuals struggling with attention deficit. Our goal is to empower young people to thrive and overcome their daily challenges. Our products are evolving to be fully device agnostic, interactive and fun because we want to help you develop to your full potential. We are focused on expanding the horizons of young people whose neurodivergent abilities, imagination and creativity is not accounted for in existing healthcare. We are bridging the gap between cognitive challenges and creativity.
CereBrill takes key evidence-based ADHD treatments and applies them to an end-to-end digital solution. Our latest digital solution uses a brainwave and gamification learning approach to help you train your attention. Users can use a headset and tablet in the home to improve attention using neurofeedback and behavioural game-based learning paradigms. Attention neurofeedback loops are reinforced in real-time through visual and auditory feedback in the game mechanics; this, together with learning paradigms in the game, supports task completion and trains self-regulation in attentive behaviours. Along with our Smartwatch CereBrill Reminder App and Attention Widget, we are offering is a simple management program that can schedule daily plans and tasks. CereBrill Reminder App acts as an instant reminder on your smartwatch to ensure that you don’t miss an important appointment or deadline, and CereBrill Attention Widget is a screen-display that monitors your focus levels while reading or working on screen. Let Cortechs assist you in improving your focus and channelling your creative thinking into your goals.