Creativity leads to innovation

We are all creative, that’s a given, whether you like to think so or not. And why? Because you are human.

Group of happy business people with arms up

Why is creativity important for you, dear reader? Because the essence of creativity is growth.

This is very important so let me use valuable space to reiterate that point: the essence of creativity is growth.

For an individual it can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth. For a business it can be physical size, knowledge base, culture and financial growth. It can be growth in organisational efficiency.

It’s been well proven that those businesses that invest in the personal growth of their employees enjoy higher staff retention and productivity and an overall growth of the business.

Creative people in a creative environment are the underlying factors of all innovative companies. It is through creativity that new products and systems are developed, clients are won, market share increased, competitors out-manoeuvred and challenges are overcome.

So where should this quest for being a creative and innovative business start? Creativity starts with the mindsets of the leaders of an organisation. It is here where creativity is either supported and nurtured and lead by example, or NOT.

In many cases, unfortunately, it is not. Why? From our experience creativity is seen by only a few as an essential part of business practice and where it is, it is often limited to certain departments.

However, we are currently seeing a shift where more organisations are recognising that nurturing creativity is crucial to ALL departments.

Yes, even accounting, although that team may want to create a different phrase from “we practice creative accounting”.

Creativity is essential to us as human beings. We NEED to create. I don’t just mean artistic expression but the need to create variety in your life, the need to create new relationships, the need to create a family and friends, the need to create time so you can do your taxes.

If we don’t create, what happens? Well, not to put a too finer point on it, we die.

We learn this lesson from nature. If something isn’t growing in nature it dies out, it becomes extinct.

If you are not growing, if your business is not growing, you’ll become extinct because nothing in life stands still. Put some money in the bank and do nothing to it. Will it grow? No, watch how fees and tax soon eats into it and inflation devalues it.

The same thing happens to you in your work life. Keep doing the same job and pretty soon it won’t be good enough and you’ll be out of a job. Stop growing with your family and see them leave you behind.

So you must look for ways to create something new in order to grow. What is one thing you could do this week that is creative? What experiences are beckoning to you? Where could you go? Is it by doing something out of your comfort zone, by taking steps towards a goal, doing something on your I-must-get-round-to-doing-one-day list?

Here’s a tip. Successful people don’t try and find the time to get round to doing things; they MAKE the time.

Make some time this week to flex your creative muscle because it will only get stronger as you grow!

• Wade Jackson is a director of Improv Solutions Ltd based in Auckland.