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The power of two little words: “what if”

“What ifs” can turn a mundane idea into something groundbreaking. They spark creativity and give flight to new ideas. And being creative is highly valued these days. In a recent survey, 77% of employees consider it to be the 21st-century job skill.[1]

People at the top see it the same way. When asked “What is the skill you most value in your people?” most CEOs answered, “creativity”.[2] There’s a simple reason for that. Creativity no longer just applies to specific roles, such as marketing or product development. Instead, it releases new approaches to processes, operations, sales activities and more. Being able to think differently unlocks innovative problem solving that benefits the whole enterprise.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) says that creativity at work is going to be one of the most important and in-demand skills in 2020, along with critical thinking and complex problem solving.[3] Continually asking “what if” opens the path to creative, innovative solutions.  

The challenge of “what if”

That’s the upside of “what ifs”. On the other hand, they can also be fierce inhibitors. Nothing stifles creative ideas faster than a person who feels that they or the business are under threat: What if I’m ridiculed? What if it exposes the business to risk?

People, data, devices and ideas face internal and external threats from cybercrime, identity theft, security breaches, and more. If you don’t feel secure, you can’t tackle a situation with confidence. If your back isn’t covered, you can’t do your best. For enterprises and ideas to flourish, you must have confidence in the environment you work in, and trust in the people you work with. You need to be reassured and relaxed enough to believe in your big ideas and ambitions. That puts a lot of pressure on the enterprise to provide a secure framework for creativity to flourish.

So, what if the threat were removed? What if security and safety were an intrinsic part of the environment in which teams work and thrive? That’s why we created Microsoft 365 Enterprise. 

Always-on security enables creative thinking

Microsoft 365 Enterprise ensures the security you need is always on, working away behind the scenes to protect you. This means collaboration and creativity can flourish in a safe environment. Your company’s data stays protected across devices – even on employees’ personal ones. Your data and devices are safe from threats, and managed company devices automatically stay up to date with the latest features and security updates.

In today’s workplace, there can be up to five generations working together in the same company, office and even teams. That’s the kind of mix that can give rise to great ideas. Ideas that pack a punch and move an enterprise forward.  The kind of ideas that start from “what if” and can only emerge when people feel digitally, physically, and psychologically safe.

[1] Steelcase Creativity and the Future of Work Survey 2017
[2] Creativity will drive the US economy, US News, 2012
[3] The Future of Jobs, WEF, 2016

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