Business News Daily states that a study by Adobe and Forrester Consulting found: “82 percent of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. In fact, companies that actively foster creative thinking outperform their rivals in revenue growth, market share, and competitive leadership, according to the report.”
When I began in business, all I had was creativity. It was all I knew. I didn’t have any real practical business experience. I certainly didn’t know about the details of marketing, sales, financials or hiring and firing. But I did know how to be creative. And I learned that it was an excellent skill to have to move into any of the other areas of business. What I had learned in theatre, film, dance and overall in the arts was to be a creative thinker.
Thinking about problems creatively helps you look at a problem from all sides and have a love for the brainstorming process as well, which fosters this type of experience.
Many people think those who are creative have a special insider’s gift to the creative experience. But I don’t believe that. Creativity can be taught, or as I like to say “caught.” And at its most basic level, creativity is simply problem solving. Seeing the problem, breaking it down, looking at it from all sides, and coming up with a solution.
This is what we do every day in business, whether you’re an entrepreneur, manager in the corporate world, or a CEO. We are constantly solving problems. Being able to look at problems from a creative lens is key to becoming successful and driving results that affect the bottom line.
The IBM 2010 Global CEO Study stated:
“The effects of rising complexity call for CEOs and their teams to lead with bold creativity, connect with customers in imaginative ways and design their operations for speed and flexibility to position their organizations for twenty-first-century success.”
“Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.”
If you come up with ideas but don’t produce them, then you’re imaginative but not creative. In business, those “great ideas” have to be acted on, taken with risks, and backed by serious commitment to make them come to life.
One of the best ways to practice a creative mindset is to A-B-C-D. Always Be Connecting the Dots. Everything is interconnected. Ask questions, challenge assumptions, observe, and network with others who don’t think like you. Then A-B-C-D. Connect those dots. Find others who are creative thinkers and hang out with them, work with them on teams and glean from them.
Another interesting consequence of creative cultures is that failure is an accepted by-product; it’s part of the process. A great example of this is Netflix. Check out Inc.’s article, “What your business can learn from Netflix.”
Creativity is for you and your business. Have fun catching it!
About the author
Kimberly O! is a creative entrepreneur, an artist at heart that digs telling stories, building brands, and launching businesses. Born out of the roots of the south and bred from an entrepreneurial family, she gets most excited about the story-telling process and how it brings identity both to an individual and an organization. Thus, creating attraction, clients, and financial success.
Constantly craving a diet of more provocative and interesting projects, she has worked with Coca-Cola, World of Coke, Coach Kimberly International, Potential Matters, The Academy Awards, Peacebuilding Solutions, Actors Co-Op, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World Feature Animation, Plants Forever, Inc., and Reel Conversations to name a few.
Her umbrella company, The Kim O. Group, includes: PFI, Swanky Girls, Swanky Girls Serve the World, Pink Magnolia Pictures and Swanky Real Estate.