Steps to Management Success – Step 95: Creativity Leads to Success

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 8th, 2010

STEP NINETY-FIVE

Creativity Leads to Success

Creativity is certainly one of the essential skills that belong in every good manager’s toolbox. This doesn’t mean you have to paint like Picasso or sing like an American Idol finalist. The fact is that we all have a deep reservoir of creativity within us that is there for the tapping. Some of us are just better at tapping into it—but it’s a learnable skill that’s well worth developing. In addition to the bottom-line benefits your creative thinking can bring to your business, there is just something quite exhilarating and fulfilling about being able to hatch a new idea and implement it.

WHAT IT MEANS: Think about it—every successful new product or, for that matter, new business once began as a glimmer of an idea in someone’s mind. Every problem that can’t be solved by relying exclusively on your experience or a “sensible” approach requires at least a dash of creativity. Great ad campaigns, cool product and service innovations, making the most of your limited resources—none of that happens without some sparkling creativity. Now, it’s true that some strokes of creativity are more bold and breakthrough than others, but virtually any business can benefit from a more imaginative, flexible, and intuitive consideration of its challenge. Of course, not every creative brainstorm is going to yield a brilliant rainbow, but the process can yield some very intriguing results. See for yourself—think different!

ACTION PLAN: Take a seminar or read a book that will help you develop your creative potential. Just as you can move about in different ways—by walking, hopping, skipping, or jogging, for example—so are there different styles of thought. To let your creative self flourish, you have to learn how to switch off your inner critic and set some of your cherished assumptions (presumptions?) aside.

EVEN BETTER: Give yourself and your staff permission to be a little bit out of the box and off the wall when trying to generate new ideas and/or solutions. Get a little silly. Have a little fun. Sometimes creativity begins where “normalcy” ends. Also, stimulate your mind more by exposing it more to music, art, and fresh air. Sometimes a long walk in the park or around town can spark new ideas even when you’re not consciously trying to think about work.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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