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For many of us creativity was something that we gave away during the latter stages of childhood.
As a child our inhibitions were few – we were creative because creativity was fun, a means of exploration and discovery. Despite the importance society and teachers gave creativity while we were young, for some reason as we become older this is lost.
As a child we cared little what others thought. Why couldn’t a tree be multi-coloured and pink? We jumped in and took a dive.
But as we get older, we’re either told or realise that trees aren’t multi-coloured and pink and we become more self-conscious.
We start becoming conscious of others and compare and we soon realise that our tree is very poor compared to some of the other drawings.
We decide that creativity may not be for us and we decide to give it away.
But this is costly, costly beyond what we could imagine, because creativity is one of our greatest assets and its importance is growing as businesses shift more rapidly, people change industries and we need to quickly adapt to new challenges.
Today, employees are becoming increasingly specialised. But in becoming specialised we push one area further, are we not also missing opportunities to take a step back and see the bigger picture? Creativity and innovation is often born from a cross-pollination of ideas from different sectors. As we burrow deeper and deeper into our specific field of interest, blind to external distractions or inspiration how many opportunities have we missed? Often the case is a creative team who deals with creativity, the other ants have other roles.
But is this fair?
Perhaps the creative person does not know the business, the customers or the market. At times perhaps this is their advantage as they come in with fresh perspective, can see the bigger picture, but often the answers will have already been there, hidden in the minds of staff who have not been nurtured to share their ideas to make things better.
Criticisms when constructive are enormously beneficial. How can an individual or business get better without first realising their faults? They can’t and they don’t. A business that is defensive to criticisms, driven from their insecurities is not an environment where employees will realise their potential – if this sounds familiar move on.
Not engaging or having your staff engage in the creative process is a missed opportunity. You know it. You have ideas and your ideas are probably better and more meaningful than what’s being produced by the ‘creative experts.’
Creativity is a mindset and within a business this culture needs to be nurtured and developed. Creativity is to a large extent about taking risks. This risk taking is most successful when people are passionate about what they do – a shared vision. To encourage creativity a business needs to establish a culture where people feel comfortable, happy to yell out, be silly and exchange ideas freely and believe their risk of putting themselves out there will be worth it and rewarded. A culture needs to be established where the driving force is not a fear of failure but a fear of mediocrity and an aspiration to be great. A culture absent of a blame game. Ideas are just ideas, the more the better, no ideas can be seen as stupid, who knows what will arise from left wing ideas, ideas they come and go, the best are kept, can be developed and the process repeated. What is lost in experimenting? The world is unpredictable, who knows what could come from trying something different. Many of the worlds best inventions were born from accidents but the foundations of success were cast by taking action and leaping into the unknown.
There is no value to anyone by playing down how great you could be, playing it safe – trying to avoid stepping on any toes.
Change comes from those who diverge from the status quo, pushing buttons and asking why? what if? how about?
Personal Growth cannot come without subjecting yourself to new areas of discomfort.
It is human nature to underestimate ourselves, our greatest challenge is to overcome our own doubts and what at first seemed difficult or impossible is actually easily achieved, once committed and placing one step at a time.
There is no secret to the success of entrepreneurs and great businesses, it is a mindset.
They take risks, they work hard, they make what seemed impossible possible, because failure was never an option, the idea of failure did not consume their mind. They just dove in and did it. Starting is often the greatest challenge. It can be overwhelming. Few things are more intimidating than a white canvas. But ignore what is not there and begin to think of what could be. Replace fear with excitement and opportunity. This is not difficult to do – nervous energy – can be used to great success. Doubters can become motivators and everyone wishes to be part of something great and so some will soon follow.
You should remember that most innovations are not entirely new creations, they are more commonly a cross-pollination of existing ideas from different sectors, which when combined create something new. Your business has the foundations to be something great, it just needs a fresh perspective, a revitalised spirit and clearly defined vision.
Successful businesses have an interesting story, a mission and vision because products are only products. The greatest brands appeal to emotions, they appeal to ideas and aspirations. By selling the ‘dream’ they establish a strong connection and user loyalty. This is not only important to the public in the way they perceive the business, but it’s critical to employee satisfaction. Proud employees take pride in their work, they create better results, the business continues to get better, the vision becomes reality and the business attracts the best staff. The business grows and grows. A vision for ‘why’ the business does what it does, rather then a focus on ‘what’ it does also sets a mentality for growth and experimentation, rather then
committing only to one sector or the production of one product.
This change in mindset and assistance in defining your vision is the greatest thing that Shades of Green can instil in your company and team because everything you need, you already have.
Beetle Creative can help reinvigorate your business and open your eyes to the possibilities.