Cultivating Creativity as a Cultural Mindset Bolsters Business Resiliency

By Michael Dula
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Creative thinking as a cultural aptitude within an organization is only something that can happen from the top down. As a business leader, it’s your job to support, inspire and drive creative thinking across your organization. Doing so will empower fresh, new thinking to propel your business and brand forward in ways that you can’t even imagine.

CEOs Recognize the Value & Impact of Creativity in the Workplace

When an IBM study asked 1,500 CEOs in more than 60 countries around the world whether they were prepared for the future, less than half of the CEOs felt that they themselves and their companies were ready for the future. When asked what they needed to better prepare their company for the future, creativity was the number one factor. CEOs know creativity is needed to make their companies resilient even as the business world dramatically evolves.

In the same IBM study, nearly 60% of CEOs polled pointed to creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking. Creative leaders are also 81% more likely to rate innovation as a “crucial capability.”

An internal brand culture that enables creative thinking gives its people the ability to imagine possibilities – and make them real. And that fosters emotional inspiration rather than hyper-rational behavior. As Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

8 Ways to Nurture Creativity in Yourself — and Across Your Organization

  1. Learn to write down or record your ideas anywhere, any time: Creative thinking is not on a time clock. Brainstorm meetings rarely produce breakthrough thinking.
  2. Give ideas time to develop. Time helps refine thinking and adds to the richness of solutions.
  3. Creativity means courage: Let go and be unafraid to express your ideas. By embracing this philosophy, you’ll no longer worry what others may think.
  4. Don’t micromanage how others develop their creative ideas: Allow an open-minded process.
  5. Exchange ideas: Leveraging team conversations usually builds deeper and stronger ideas.
  6. Challenge yourself to think beyond the typical: Discover how integrating spontaneous thoughts can shake up and change the direction for how you problem solve and create. As humans, we tend to do this only after we’ve come up with expected ideas. Breakthrough ideas usually occur after we’ve checked the box on safe ideas.
  7. While the creative process is open-minded, keep focused on the creative parameters that have been defined. Creative bookends keep you centered on coming up with highly creative solutions that are driven with purpose and impact.
  8.  Balance extraordinary over-achievement with a sense of what is accomplishable. David Kelly, founder of the industrial design firm Ideo said, “It’s not about the laser, it’s about what you do with the laser.”

Don’t Allow Creativity Silos to Exist in Your Business

Complex problem solving, creative thinking and imaginative breakthroughs are not just for the siloed creative department. A creative mindset must be woven into the hearts and minds of your people and culture. All departments must share in the creative process in order for innovation, business growth and transformation to happen.

Inspire your people to use their creative minds and motivate them to pay it forward. Creative thinking is contagious. Leverage this mindset in your culture, and watch your business and brand leapfrog to new level growth and success.