People often think of business and creativity as polar opposites, one having absolutely nothing to do with the other. Creativity has to do with art, and business is only concerned with money. But true creativity exists in every walk of life, and good business incorporates ideas that deviate from the standard business plan. How can a business expect to break through to the next level of product or service or ideas? Growth demands creativity in business. All successful people, no matter their discipline, look at their problems creatively and when they do they become curious and experimental. They think outside the box.
It has been said that something can be considered creative when it is original and appropriate. In other words, what you are doing is creative if it is new, different and helpful. Many people believe that creativity is more natural in some people than others, but the truth is that it depends on such traits as the ability to take a risk, which can be learned not only by an individual, but by an entire business.
Building creativity in business is more than a quick fix here and there; it is a lifestyle change, so to speak. You must learn to think and behave and create in a new way. There is a quote that says “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” So if you run your business the same way your grandfather did, you’ll get more or less the same results and profit as he did back.
Points to keep in mind when fostering creativity in business:
- Innovation is often a team sport. That’s why brainstorming in groups is so productive.
- Diversity in groups. Creativity is most likely to occur where there is a mix of cultures, gender and ways of thinking.
- Positive emotion. People who have positive feelings about themselves, their company and their job demonstrate higher creativity while negative feelings go hand in hand with lower motivation and thus creativity.
- Progress. When workers are allowed to make progress on their own, rather than simply work up to a goal set by a manager, they do their best work.
- Love of the work. Doing something that you find deeply satisfying and personally challenging opens up creativity.
Often our creativity becomes stuck by literally looking at the same four walls day after day. Visit other businesses, either in person or online, talk to people in the same field or attend seminars to stimulate your creativity and allow your mind to flow in new directions.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
If you want to maximize your potential even more have a look at my other interesting post about 5 best creative thinking techniques to help your business thrive.
And how about you? What results do you get? What’s your recipe for creativity in business?