The Role of Creativity in Business
5 ways organizations can benefit from encouraging creativity in the workplace.
Usually, the topics of business and creativity don’t come up in the same conversation. Many believe that business is all about making money, while creativity is about art and imagination. So how do two rather different ideas fit into one?
Creativity in business is a way of thinking that inspires, challenges, and helps people to find innovative solutions and create opportunities out of problems. It’s the reason some companies wow us with new, amazing ideas, whilst others merely follow the beaten path. It’s the source of innovation and inspiration.
There is much more to creativity than artistic value
Linkedin named creative thinking the most demanded skill nowadays. Other researchers have also placed it in the top 3 required skills to run a business (together with critical thinking and problem solving). Creative thinkers are the visionaries that drive companies’ growth and innovation practices.
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So, what does creativity bring to business success?
- It makes companies competitive
- It nurtures company culture
- It aids productivity
- It helps to solve problems
- It changes the world
Think about it — you can’t build something new using old methods. The fast-driven economic environment favors companies that can be flexible, think fast, and adapt to changes. None of this is possible if your business holds on to outdated processes.
Every business tries to grow and expand while also surpassing the competition. It’s crucial to bring in something new, different, and helpful for your customers if you want to achieve a higher goal.
You can’t simply copy what other businesses do and expect to become the best in the industry. To be the best, you need to innovate, come up with stellar solutions, and push the boundaries.
New competitive advantage
Innovation and creativity go hand in hand in the business world. You don’t want to have stale, plain solutions, services, and unappealing products that no one wants. You need to step out of your comfort zone, explore brand new solutions, and stimulate creativity.
The business environment is changing all the time. Before it was enough to lower your prices to beat your competitors. But the economic conditions have changed and now there’s nothing that saturated markets can’t offer. Companies now need to find smarter ways to keep the interest of their customers.
With business creativity, you get to solve problems faster and easier than ever before. It helps you discover unique ideas that will keep your users interested and engaged, which is vital to your business success.
You get to stay one step ahead by uncovering what people need before they need it. You can push the boundaries while also retaining your own style.
None of this would be possible without creative thinking. Not only does it go hand in hand with problem-solving, but it also helps people see opportunities.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
It’s all about people
Business creativity wouldn’t work if it weren’t for the people involved. It’s the brilliant individuals that generate ideas and drive them to become tangible results. No business could exist without the people behind it.
Companies that understand the importance of growing and nurturing creative talent realize that it is a vital element in corporate culture. Creative thinking is a skill that can be developed but can’t be imposed.
Providing the right environment helps to promote creativity in the workplace and encourage a non-traditional approach to problem-solving.
It is not enough though to create an open office space and use bean bags instead of chairs — these and other physical attributes only scratch the surface and serve better as decor elements.
Creativity thrives in environments that are inclusive, adaptive, safe, based on trust, welcome experiments, and encourage people to be curious and explore.
Extraordinary productivity boost
Another major benefit of business creativity is that it helps boost your productivity. You get to reach unknown territories, and that motivates every team member to do their best and push themselves to the next level in a rewarding manner.
Moreover, business creativity makes people feel appreciated. It helps their personal and professional growth, knowing they are surpassing their limits and expectations as they come up with something new and exciting.
But the best thing about business creativity is that it encourages healthy feedback generation and collection. Without feedback, it can be very hard to figure out what you are doing well and where you are going wrong.
When you are creative, you are bound to make mistakes and that makes it easier to accept and understand feedback at the highest possible level. Done well, this has the potential to boost workplace morale while also pushing your mind and ideas towards new perspectives.
No problem is big enough
Creative thinking as a problem-solving skill helps to find opportunities and see challenges as a chance to improve the situation. Paired with a growth mindset and genuine curiosity in how things work and why we do them a certain way, creativity becomes the catalyst of innovation.
Creative problem solving is a well-defined process that helps you to navigate your way from problem definition to solution implementation using imaginative, innovative approaches. It helps to see the challenge from a different angle and often turns it into a solution.
It doesn’t mean that the process is easy though. It requires a great deal of effort, time, and collaboration to find the ideas that are not only original and unique but are useful and viable at the same time.
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
Satisfying customer needs isn’t the only business goal that organizations have. More and more companies become aware of the impact that they can create. The rise of purpose-driven businesses confirms the global shift in the economy.
Many countries, governments, entrepreneurs, and organizations have united to solve global problems. But we can’t fix these problems using the same thought process as we used to create them. That’s where creativity comes in.
Innovation for social good is gaining momentum. Companies change their entire business models to direct their profits towards the greater good. Some support non-profit organizations and the development of new technologies. Some improve systems and services. Others create and nurture creative communities and support open innovation.
Is creativity crucial for success?
That depends on your definition of success, but in most cases, business creativity can significantly increase your chances of reaching your goals, no matter how complicated and ambitious they are.
For some industries, it is more difficult to make space for creative thinking. Take accounting for example — there are rules that have to be followed. But it is important to understand that creative thinking is not always about doing things in a different way — it’s an attitude of seeing opportunities and seizing them. And that is not controlled by any single department.
You can’t expect your company to stand out without business creativity. Creative thinking and problem-solving are the pivotal tools on the road to creativity and innovation. Sure, you are bound to make mistakes, but you’re also in uncharted territory.
You get to explore something new, play with that idea, and see where it goes. Of course, there are challenges along the way, but if you take the creative leap the results can be nothing short of extraordinary in the long run.
It’s important to reward creativity and offer people the flexibility to work their own way and think outside the box. You also need to offer employees time to recharge and not pressure them into delivering results right away. Innovation takes time, but the wait is worth it!
Originally published at https://www.anastasiashch.com.
Anastasia is an Experience Strategist interested in Innovation and Sustainable Development. She writes about creativity, professional growth, entrepreneurship, and purpose-driven business. Connect with her at www.anastasiashch.com