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Sunday 01 November ,2020

The National Archives Opens Ways for Creative Thinking and Innovative Leadership in a Training Workshop

In line with the UAE’s Policy Promoting the Culture of

Creativity and Innovation

The National Archives Opens Ways for Creative Thinking and Innovative Leadership in a Training Workshop

The National Archives organized a training and educational workshop entitled: ‘Creative Thinking Keys and Skills’, in which it emphasized that the United Arab Emirates, under its wise leadership, considers creativity and innovation a national duty and culture as well as a life-system for community members. UAE has made innovation an integral national component of the UAE Vision 2021. The workshop highlighted the National Archives’ great interest in creativity and innovation and its keenness to encourage its staff members to adopt creative initiatives.

The workshop - which was delivered by Dr. Husniya Al Ali, Head of Educational Programs Section at the National Archives- focused on the most prominent upcoming global archival event, namely, the International Council on Archives Congress (ICA Congress Abu Dhabi 2020), the hosting of which was assigned to the UAE National Archives, as an innovative institutional model that surpassed all challenges. The ICA Congress was postponed to 2021 in line with the current necessary precautionary measures to counter and contain Covid-19 worldwide. Dr. Husniya explained that creativity and innovation are evident in all stages of this great archival event, starting with awarding the UAE the hosting of the next ICA Congress and its receiving archival leaders from various parts of the world, its preparations for the launching ceremony for this major event, developing and setting its theme: “Empowering Knowledge Societies”, selecting “Al Sadu” as its official symbol for its significance in Emirati culture and heritage, and eventually ending with setting the conference agenda which is characterized by global openness to all archives’ issues including: artificial intelligence and sustainable knowledge as a basis for sustainable development and confronting archives preservation challenges through social media.

The virtual workshop, that was delivered via Microsoft Teams, drew examples of creativity and innovation from the biography and achievements of the Founding Leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who managed, since he made his mark with his creative thinking upon assuming the post of the Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region, to develop Al Ain and transform it to an oasis and a well-developed city at that time. The workshop was inspired by the UAE wise leadership's key quotes and directives which consider creativity and innovation a necessity rather than a luxury and a pursuit with no end or limit. The workshop linked creativity and innovation skills with the National Archives various initiatives, projects and activities which demonstrate its provision of the ideal environment and needed tools to promote creativity.

It is noteworthy that the workshop, briefed the National Archives’ staff members who attended it on creative thinking and skills, represented in: ‘analytical thinking, openness, problem-solving and organization’. Then it tackled both types of creative thinking: the practical (i.e. skills) and the theoretical type (i.e. ideas), and later creative thinking skills development and promotion methods, stages and application. The lecture also focused on creative thinking obstacles represented in: the lack of guidance, self-confidence, efficient leadership, as well as the domination of past experience among others. Afterwards the lecture introduced ways to overcome these obstacles and introduced, within the creative thinking development tools, the six thinking hats: ‘the white, red, black, yellow, green and blue’.

The workshop then turned to defining innovation and enhancing its culture by appointing innovative leaders in institutions, taking great interest in the identity and culture of an institution, employing innovations to serve institutional values, establishing an innovation stimulating and encouraging environment, technical and administrative work systems, and innovative laboratories. The workshop tackled also practicing innovative institutional culture and innovative thinking stimulants and gave examples of innovative questions and their objectives.

The workshop identified the most important creative skills and systems, leadership attitudes and behaviors that encourage and promote adopting creative and innovative thinking methods and enhance creative abilities to reach creative ideas. The workshop stressed the importance of creativity and innovation culture and its application in any work field.