Most of us think creativity is about being artistic. Painting, drawing, dancing, and playing music are commonly understood as artistic or creative activities. Designers and architects are creative thinkers, and lawyers, accountants, managers, doctors, and engineers are not. Most also believe that you are born creative; it is in your genes, and either you have it or you don’t.
So, the first thing is to understand that ‘creativity’ and being ‘artistic’ are different. Creativity is much broader and more universal. It involves using your imagination to create something new. Creativity is when you generate fresh ideas, solutions, systems, or processes. Interestingly, everyone does that, whatever their profession!
In the business world, creativity is seen as innovation. Every department, from Finance to Customer Service, has the opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Organizations can unleash their potential based on new insights and ideas. Creativity is the most important competency required in leadership today, and this certainly does not mean being artistic. Most companies recognize that unlocking the creative potential of their leaders is key to economic growth. However, very few companies help their leaders understand, nurture and enhance their creative potential. That is a lot of wasted potential.
A little practice and encouragement can quickly renew imagination, curiosity, and courage. Everyone is a creative type, but some are insecure about their abilities. People can do amazing things if they just learn a few creative thinking methods. Being innovative is all about learning a new process, trusting yourself to come up with unique ideas, and having the courage to try them out.
Ask a designer you know to run a ‘Design Thinking’ workshop with your team, and do it often. Then, have your leading team go through ‘Creative Leadership’ sessions and learn the tools and ways to come up with breakthrough ideas. Consult to build a culture of creativity in your organization. You already know the companies that are benefitting from this.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief
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