THERE'S STILL TIME TO SEEK CREATIVITY (IF YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS)
Research shows that everyone has creative abilities. In fact, the more training you receive in developing creative thought the greater the potential for creative output. The average adult thinks of three to six alternatives for any given situation. The average child thinks of 60. If you’ve been told that you’re just not the creative type, someone has done you (and your business) a great disservice. Why not write them a poem describing their similarity to a common weasel? After that, consider a new orientation to this misunderstood concept. What is creativity anyway?
Creativity is not so much a thing as it is a process, or act, which turns new and imaginative ideas into reality. In order to have impact, creativity has to involve thinking and producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not very creative. If you have really terrible ideas and implement every single one of them, then you should write a note of apology to the weasel guy. The fact is lots of us are imaginative because each of us is sitting on at least one million dollar idea that we’re doing nothing about. Don’t mind the hype that often links creativity with the words brilliant and genius. Creative thinking is a routine and natural instinct — usually just a combination of other formerly unrelated ideas. In the “Wow, you just blew my mind” department, some quantum physicists believe that the smallest particle of matter is a thought . . . meaning the universe is made up of multiple realities all based upon observation — We literally create our own reality!
WHERE TO APPLY CREATIVITY?
While there are countless places within our businesses that could use some creative thinking, let’s concentrate on the “Big Three” as having the greatest potential for profitable impact. These are:
1. Your Business Model — Can
you develop a way to significantly change the structure (or even the financial model) of
the business? Ban sacred cows from this pasture; consider anything and everything, and getting
weird is your mandate. If you had no limitations could you create a brilliant name change
or fantastical physical move? How about turning your biggest competitor into your biggest
customer (weird) or your biggest customer into your biggest competitor (weirder) or either
of them (or both of them) into your
biggest partners (weirdest)?
2. Your Operations — Can you come up with a creative innovation to your core business processes that’s so incredibly awesome that your top employees would instantly fill their pants from the never-before-felt combination of pride, unbridled anxiety and wild excitement?
3. Your Finished Products and Services — Is there, within your reach, a new combination or extension of the line you offer that is innovative enough to allow the simplest of customers to see how positively different your company is from all the rest? If the product or service offering is becoming an exhausted commodity, are there still any “go-to-market” or “after-market” activities that you can create that will shine a light on the gap between you and your competitors?