Why creativity is so important

According to Sarah Cressall, creativity feeds both personal development and business growth

Why creativity is so important

Creativity is all around us, it’s everywhere. From the technology we use, to the entertainment we enjoy, to the clothes we wear. Even the structures we live and work by are touched by creativity. And yet, whenever I attend a function to give a talk, and I ask the question: ‘Who thinks they are creative’? Few people say they are.

Creativity is, of course, associated with the arts. But there is a wealth of other forms of creativity that we sample every single day. We solve problems, generate solutions, and regularly come up with new ideas.

And, by incorporating creativity into your businesses, this can lead to better products, improved services and more satisfying customer experiences. Creativity can help your business to stand out from the crowd – especially the competition. Creativity will make the business more relevant to both your existing customers, and also potential new ones. Therefore, make your business more impactful and ultimately it will become more successful. 

Creativity is like a muscle. It takes practice, experimentation and a willingness to think outside the box. If you stop using it, it will lose some of its effectiveness.  It’s never easy to develop your creativity but, like many things in life, hard work usually pays off.

Here are a few tips to help you and your team become more creative:

Set aside time to reflect and think about the future

Allocate time to conjure up fresh ideas and perspectives. Take time to brainstorm, explore different possibilities, and discover unconventional solutions. At The Creation Station, we had a significant challenge and therefore decided to use the full force of our team to try and overcome it.

We held a creative brainstorming workshop. We listened to every person’s perspective, thoughts and ideas. The outcome enabled us to implement a highly effective and creative solution, which would have been difficult for one person to achieve. This had the additional benefits of showing everyone why change was needed. Because they all understood the reasons for making this change, it brought the entire team on board from the moment we implemented this new system.

Embrace failure

Creativity involves trial and error. Don’t be afraid to take risks, or to experiment. Be prepared for mistakes to be made. Linus Pauling said: “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Accept failure as being an opportunity to learn and grow.

Step outside of your comfort zone

To be creative, you must be willing to try new things. Push yourself and challenge your preconceived viewpoints. Don’t be afraid to leave ‘the familiar’ behind. Doing the same old things will simply get the same results. Think carefully about the outcomes you want to attain, then utilise your creativity to scale these new peaks.

Ask questions, challenge presumptions and explore alternative perspectives.

View things from different angles. By asking questions, you come up with new ideas. We don’t know what we don’t know. Tap-in to the different perspectives of others, which may help us to expand our own thinking.

Find inspiration in what other people are doing

Appreciate nature, art and other civilizations. Browse trade publications and articles from other industries. The best ideas often arrive when we are away from our work. Many people discover their greatest ideas while on holiday, or out walking, or perhaps even taking a shower.

Accept the notion of taking ‘calculated risks’. Simply put, failing is the ‘First Attempt At Learning’. As a prosperous business entrepreneur, you will already realise that to achieve personal and business growth, there is a need for continual learning. Learning, aligned with an open mind and creative thinking, yields a powerful mix that will help you to develop new ideas and concepts, and ultimately allow your business to flourish.

Sarah Cressall
Sarah Cressall