This post was authored by Russ Perry, founder of AZTC member company Design Pickle.
Next month, I’ll be leading a Lunch and Learn for the Arizona Technology Council. I’ll be taking attendees in-depth about how creativity is the secret weapon for the most successful modern companies, and helping business leaders figure out how to build a creative culture. But right now, I want to take some time to set the record straight on a few misconceptions around improving your company’s creative output.
Creativity is On Demand
We obviously live in an instant gratification kind of society, and want everything on-demand, right here, right now. After all, that sort of speed is part of our very own promise here at Design Pickle and for good reason – today’s business pace needs things faster and faster. But when it comes to something like creativity, the best ideas don’t always come out of a preplanned brainstorm on a Tuesday morning. Scientifically speaking there is a creative flow state that can maximize our creative output. It’s different for everyone and just you ask someone to “be creative” doesn’t mean that a concept will miraculously manifest. Instead, realize that creative ideas take time to develop. To accelerate this process creativity must become a part of your daily culture. Focus daily on encouraging freedom of thought and the sharing of inspiration, and you’ll see the volume of creativity continue to gain momentum.
Creativity is for Creative Fields
No matter what industry you’re in, you too can have a vibrant, idea-rich culture. Let’s look at some of the heavy hitters who have proven this point. IBM rolled out its ‘Smarter Planet’ campaign several years back and successfully positioned itself, a tech behemoth, as a socially conscious brand. Instead of being limited, the company found innovative ways to show how technology can affect our lives. Another example comes from Intuit, known for its financial software. In order to spice things up for accountants this year, Intuit brewed a special beer called CPA IPA and offered it free to accountants so they could de-stress during tax season. Many people would’ve shaken their heads and said, “accounting software? There’s nothing creative we can do with that.” Any industry can have a creative culture that spawns creative ideas.
Brainstorming Leads to Innovation
False. Brainstorming, when done properly, can be a useful way to foster collaboration and gather a bevy of ideas. But it doesn’t always work well, and it certainly isn’t the only way to get your creativity on. Some people think of ideas more freely when they’re alone, and some find inspiration strike while in the car or as they’re falling asleep. Some are too shy to feel comfortable tossing out ideas in a group setting. The notion that ‘white boarding’ during a brainstorming session is sure to get company creativity revved isn’t rooted in success. As a business leader, it’s up to you to find better ways to eke the innovation out of your team members. And since every company is comprised of individuals, what works for one may not work for all.
So there you have my take on just a few of the most frequently touted thoughts around creativity in the workplace. But don’t worry, these are just a teaser of what’s to come. Make sure to join me on Wednesday, June 17 at the Biltmore Fashion Park’s Blanco Taco + Tequilas at 11:30am as we dive deeper into these concepts and learn how creativity really does drive the bottom line of a healthy business.