Thursday, February 02, 2006

Business Creativity ( why you need it and how to buy it) Part 1

Why does a business need creativity?

Before answering this question, there is one point that should be made. Creativity, like Innovation is not absolute. Creativity in a business context is relative to the current and previous states of the business and its associated organisational culture. Most people who are in the business of providing creativity such as consultants, facilitators and trainers will tell you that the benefits are blindingly obvious. There again, most things are, with the benefit of hindsight. This series of articles is an attempt to crystallise some ideas on the topic of creativity in a business context and provide those who are starting out (or who are thinking of doing so) with some pointers.

Creativity is a powerful tool that can improve the performance of an organisation in an astonishing way and at this point it might be hard to see how. All I ask is that you keep an open mind whilst reading this blog. Please feel free to contact me and ask questions if you like. The paragraphs below list some of the main benefits of embracing creativity, but in the true sense of creativity there will be many readers who will find others. I certainly hope so.

Doing what you have always done

I’m sure that readers will be familiar with the saying “Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got”. There may be little wrong with what you are currently doing but there is a grave danger of complacency and of developing limiting beliefs or a restrictive mindset. One of the lynchpins of creativity is that you keep an open mind and evaluate all of the options open to you. This does not mean that you have to change at all but that you are looking for new opportunities. In the modern business environment none of us can afford to be complacent. Creativity provides us with many techniques for helping people to see things in a new way and for helping to break mindsets should this be required.

Securing competitive advantage

Most consultants will tell you that their solutions will provide you with competitive advantage but creativity (and innovation) really can. This is because we are dealing with intangible assets which are difficult for competitors to copy, and because the assets in question are our employee’s ability to generate ideas and combine them there are also a huge number of possibilities. Idea generation, combination and transfer of tacit knowledge can occur throughout your business from lorry driver and cleaner to the boardroom. All you need to do is be able to collect and manage this process.

In subsequent articles I shall look at further reasons to embrace creativity and also some of the things that businesses should consider when engaging external assistance. You can read the full text of Creativity as a Business Tool from the web by clicking on the link.

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