Event Recap: Creativity – Your Company’s Greatest Asset | Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio
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Event Recap: Creativity – Your Company’s Greatest Asset

Are you a great photographer because you can click the button on the camera? Do you get paid each day to push the keys on your computer’s keyboard? Are you an accomplished businessperson because you put pencil to paper?

Of course not. A camera, a keyboard and a pencil are just tools you know how to use. You are successful because of your creativity; because the ideas and thoughts pushed through these tools help someone accomplish a goal, solve a problem, or provide an answer to a question. Without the creativity behind these tools, you have nothing.

On February 26, John McNeal, owner of 2Reveal, emphasized the importance of creativity in business during his presentation entitled, “Creativity – Your Company’s Greatest Asset.” The presentation was part of our TIGER Talk luncheon series, which educates business owners on the topics of Technology, Innovation, Growth, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility. They are offered free of charge throughout the month in an effort to help entrepreneurs “earn their stripes” towards starting and running a successful business.

John said creativity is the ability to produce original ideas of value. It plateaus throughout life, often because people or situations hinder them. Our job as business owners is to remove those things that get in the way of our creativity.

Creativity is important to business. A study from Adobe revealed the following:

  • Of 5,000 senior level managers, 80% of them said creativity was key to economic growth
  • Companies that foster creativity were three times more likely to see 10% growth in revenue year to year compared to companies that did not foster creativity
  • One out of four said they weren’t living to their creative potential
  • Most felt they were pressured to be busy, but not creative.

So with creativity so essential to successful business, how can you get your creative juices flowing again?

Using analogies and inspiring stories, John offered the group five ways:

  1. Make a shift in your identity. The words we tell ourselves have meaning. The first step toward being creating is telling yourself that you are a person that is creative. If you don’t have that fundamental change, you’ll be an uncreative person who occasionally dabbles in creativity.
  1. Identify one thing. Come up with one small thing you can do each day to improve your creativity. He cited the “10,000 Hours Rule,” which states that if you want to be really proficient at something, you need to spend 10,000 hours working on it. You don’t necessarily have to have talent or natural ability to be successful, but you have to be willing to work hard at it and put in the time.
  1. Ask quality questions. Don’t be afraid to ask simple, ridiculous or what may seem like obvious questions. Sometimes it’s those types of questions that get people thinking about a different way of doing things. Start thinking differently and ask the questions that lead to better answers.
  1. Form a creative community. We learn a lot from each other, so have a group of trusted people you can turn to for thoughts and opinions, preferably not in your industry. Look for a diverse group that may contain a person over 70, under age 18, the opposite gender, of a different ethnicity, or from a different country. Open your mind to new possibilities.
  1. Be willing to be vulnerable. Creativity is an intimate thing, and requires a level of vulnerability. You need to work in an environment where you and your coworkers can bring their ideas, good or bad, to the table without being ridiculed or feeling embarrassed. You need to embrace creativity and failure. If you don’t, people will stop trying.

John compared creativity to a jazz drummer in a band. When you add a jazz drummer to a band, everyone’s playing ability improves. When you add creativity to any type of situation, it makes everything infinitely better.

For more information about adding creativity to your business, contact John at 614-421-0690, or visit his website at http://www.2reveal.com.

Line-DividerRecommended Readings

A Whole New Mind
The Power of Habit
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life

Videos

Everything is a Remix
Carol Dweck – The power of believing you can improve
Matt Cutts – Try something new for 30 days

Innovate New Albany, the city’s incubator for technology startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses, features 16,000 square feet of space within the New Albany Business Park’s Signature Office Building, 8000 Walton Parkway.

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