Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is Creativity a Requirement for Success?

Innovation (Photo credit: Seth1492)
by Joan Nowak

I recently read an article about skills you to need to succeed at anything.

Intended for businesses, it talked about communication and listening, decision making, personal (time) management, analytical skills and creative thinking - to name just a few.

Okay, improving many of these skills will certainly make a difference and contribute to your success in business, and often in life.

But 'creative thinking' certainly got me thinking ...

When things go wrong or problems arise, how do you resolve them and what do you do? Ever had anyone tell you to get creative or think out of the box? And therein lies the problem.

By definition, creativity means you have the ability to create new or original ideas or methods. But most of us don't consider ourselves creative, unless we are a designer, artist, crafts person or yes, in advertising. So messages that promote 'creative thinking' often fall flat - and the recipient feels doomed before they start.

Here's a better approach. Think innovation. By definition, innovation is the introduction of new things or methods. Subtle difference - introducing new methods versus creating them.

Innovation doesn't require originality or uniqueness that is often associated with creativity. It's simply a matter of continuously looking for better ways to do what you do - and you can use what others have already perfected.

This change in mindset can be helpful to those small business owners who consider themselves more technical or analytical -- but definitely not creative!

The good news is we all have the ability to be innovative and we don't need to go at it alone. Make it part of your culture and get others involved too. It's important if you want to achieve sustainable success in business.

So where should you apply innovation in your business? The answer is simple - everywhere. From marketing and sales to customer support, delivery and team building, all areas of your business will benefit from a little innovative thinking ... and action!

  • A process for staying connected with customers that builds retention rates is innovative.
  • Finding new markets for your products or services is innovative.
  • A digital marketing campaign that consistently delivers quality leads is innovative.
  • Re-packaging products and services to improve margins and sales is innovative.
  • A system for consistently hiring quality people is innovative.

So don't get hung up on creativity, but do make innovation a definite priority. It will pay off on the bottom line and may actually make what you do a lot more fun!

Joan Nowak is a Small Business Profit Builder, seasoned Business Coach, and creator of the Hybrid Coaching System for small businesses. For additional resources and ideas to grow your small business, visit

While you are there, join her mailing list to get her monthly eNewsletter and receive a FREE copy of her eBook, Mastering the 7 Elements of Business Success.

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