Creativity in Business – Does it Provide a Real Edge?
Are the Most Creative Companies the Most Successful?
Over the last few decades, creativity in business has become one of the most sought after skills. Competition is now incredibly fierce and problem-solving is critical to a company’s success and survival. With ever-increasing management problems and complex, multi-dimensional issues facing companies, those who can provide creative solutions are highly valued. Creative thinkers are the people who can find solutions, turn challenges into opportunities for improvement and blockages into lessons to be learned from.
Business cannot stand still. Like a river flowing to its inevitable destination, a business cannot cease to move, or it risks stagnation. Business, like flowing water, must find the path of least resistance through the surrounding terrain in order to achieve predetermined goals. The ultimate ‘success’ of a river is judged by its ability to sustain life and reach the sea. The success of a business is determined by its culture and its productivity, as well as its ability to reach set objectives.
What is Creativity in Business?
Business flow is maintained by constant innovation and improvement. The root source of these two elements is creativity. Creativity can be defined as the ability to have new ideas. Innovation is the implementation of that creativity. Innovation allows creativity to take physical shape in the form of solutions, processes and products.
Therefore, creativity in business can be described as the life-force behind that business’s ability to thrive; a critical element in ensuring a clear pathway to success.
Creativity in business – sometimes described as the ability to think outside of the box – provides the resources for individuals to constantly find new solutions. Creative problem-solving provides a company with a competitive edge – crucial in deciding whether a company will thrive or fail.
According to www.viewshub.com, the following 6 companies have the most creative employees:
Industry: Drug manufacturer
Headquarters: Paris, France
2. Toyota Motor Corporation
Industry: Auto manufacturer
Headquarters: Toyota City, Japan
3. Grant Thornton
Industry: Accounting services
Headquarters: Chicago, USA
Industry: Communication equipment
Headquarters: San Diego, USA
Industry: Delivery services
Headquarters: Memphis, USA
Headquarters: Cupertino, USA
Although these companies are in a variety of industries, they share various characteristics. Firstly, they all actively seek out creativity in their employees, actively recruiting for this skill. They also take steps to cultivate and encourage creativity in business, allowing employees space and time to formulate, propose and implement their own solutions to problems that arise. Finally, they recognise and reward creative thinking. All these cultural similarities enable the companies to remain on the cutting-edge, constantly moving forward and branching in new directions
The other thing that these companies have in common is that they are all market leaders in their sectors. Compared to their competitors, who are considered to be less creative generally, they are streets ahead.
Examples of How Companies Encourage Creativity
- Apple encouraged employees to spend some time working on their own projects under the Blue Sky Programme.
- Sanofi have a number of in-house, employee-led, innovative services designed to motivate and encourage loyalty and creativity among their staff. For example, ‘The Association’ is a charity founded to provide support for employees’ children.
- Toyota’s culture encourages front-line workers to suggest local improvements and then to help make them.
- Grant Thornton claims that “a vibrant economy must begin in the workplace – converting the offices of today into creative environments of tomorrow”.
- FedEx promises a continual cultivation of employee creativity and innovation.
- The above examples are just a few of the ways in which these top performing companies ensure their employees are working with maximum creative output.
- In today’s business environment, margins are tight and competition increasingly strong. In this fast-moving and ruthless world, creativity in business is absolutely key.
Training in Creativity
Creative thinking is a skill that some people are born with a natural inclination towards. Like other skills, however, creative thinking is also something that can be practised, cultivated and learned – especially when the skills are delivered by a professional training company that specialises in the subject!