Creativity is Not All the Same

Creativity causes most people to think of an artist, designer, composer, or similar types of people. Yet, it is more than that. In the posting Creativity | Vital to Your Business we considered some of the practical reasons creativity matters to a business being successful. Yet creativity is not all the same, so let’s look at creativity a different way.

Creativity is Creativity, or is It?

My suspicion is that most people don’t think of themselves as creative. Now it may be that some of them are correct. On the other hand, I also suspect that many people don’t realize creativity gets expressed in highly varied ways. While an artist, architect, designer, composer, etc. may well come to mind, how about someone who simply realizes there is a better way to do something? Is that person also creative?

Some Examples

Consider Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. He got Amazon off the ground by realizing there was an opportunity by allowing people to purchase books online without having to leave their home. Obviously Amazon has gone on to sell many other products, but people still go to them for books. Here are some questions to consider. Just because Amazon was developed primarily as an e-commerce business does that mean the idea for it was not really at the core a creative one. We can easily see the creativity in the design of the Amazon website, but was the idea for the business just as much a creative endeavor? I think just the contrast between the idea for the business and the activities to make it actually happen clearly demonstrates that creativity is not all the same.

Seeing What is There Differently

A classic example of a utilitarian idea that at the core represents a creative way of viewing the existing is the intermittent windshield wiper. Robert Kearns was the inventor, but his inspiration came about from his difficulty in seeing while driving in a light rain because he was legally blind in one eye. It occurred to him that the human eye blinked intermittently as a way of removing obstructions to vision. Using this knowledge he developed the intermittent windshield wiper that makes it easier to see clearly in light rain. Think about it. Did he sit down with the intent of being creative, or did he just realize a need and allow that need to cause him to observe the existing (the human eye blinking) from a different perspective?

A Need in Every Company

I don’t care what kind of company you own or work for, there is always a need for creativity, and that creativity can take on multiple forms. It may be as simple as observing a workflow and realizing there’s a better way. It may be observing personality clashes among employees and understanding that improvements in how people interact are needed. It may be noticing that meetings always seem to go longer that planned while still seeming to accomplish little and suddenly realizing that new ways of conducting meetings need implementing.

business meeting

In each of these examples, the solutions developed, whether you realize it or not, involve creativity. So, when we see creativity in things as diverse as a new way to sell books to a way to improve windshield wipers to improving efficiency and communication in a company it becomes clear that creativity is not all the same.

Are you being as creative as you can be? If not, perhaps you are selling yourself short when you assume you lack creative ability.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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