In a business context, the most impressive thing about Creativity by far is how it generates value. It’s true that it acts as a tonic for pains and solves problems, but its impact reaches far wider than that.
Our imagination is what we use to envisage futures that diverge from the road we are walking. When a company wants to become more innovative, more environmentally friendly, build a new internal culture, they first need to imagine what this looks like. And of course, that is creative.
But to get there, they then need to act creatively as well… to make those visions and ideas real in the world. And this is where creativity adds value.
The end Product is always only a tiny fraction of the story. Focusing on the product ignores the importance of structures, process, relationships, location, tools and information. And all of these can be enhanced with creative approaches. They can all add more value if we examine them correctly.
What I am selling when I talk Creativity is not a sticking plaster solution to a pressing problem. I am talking about behaviour change, culture change. I place the focus on value and where it is, and where it is not. The point is not about where you are, but where you want to be.
Structured, silo thinking in this area can only give you more of the same. If your vision for the future is different, then you need to act differently.
In essence, creativity is growth… is creates more of, it is inherently positive. When your organisation is in a state of change, when things are going well, this growth is happening organically, hopefully in line with your strategy and your plans. But when that growth falters, we need to look further than just fixing a few problems.
We need to look honestly at where you are, and where you WANT to be… that is where becoming more consciously creative adds the biggest value. Not just imagining the WHERE that you want to be at, but the HOW of the route to it.
Something I learned form two and a half decades of self-employment is: Just because you see an opportunity, doesn’t mean that YOU have to act on it.
Unpacking this, what I understand is that not every creative thought needs you to act on it. Becoming more creative doesn’t mean constantly rocking the boat and changing everything all of the time. It is not anarchy and chaos. Rather it is the on-going flexing of the creative muscle so that great ideas can be uncovered more regularly. The rest you can just file, or throw away, or hell, sell to someone else!
But those game-changer ideas, the million-dollar ones: they don’t come to those who sit and wait. They come to those who are busy working with ideas all the time. Is that you and your company? If not, maybe its time to change your mind about that.