Creativity and Innovation

The above is a hot topic today and while I agree that it is important to be and or have both of those qualities, there are some people who just seem to have ideas continually coming out of them, while others just sit there and stare.

Many companies today are having “creative rooms and play rooms” where people can go to relax or just play with toys etc., and free their minds to think. I must tell you I am not one of them. I’m always amazed how you can put a dozen things in front of people, and they will think of seven different ways to utilize them.

I do believe that a class in creativity is important however. It allows people like me to realize how certain things can stimulate your brain. If you are stuck on an idea, take a walk, or do some deep breathing, as it lets your mind wander. Very often, the answer will come to you when you are least thinking about it.

There are activities you can do that will develop some new creativity skills in you. I would even suggest using some of the things that kindergarten and first grade teachers use. No one is as creative as a child under five. In fact, it is said that once a child reaches the age of 8, their creativity decreases by as much as 80%

Artists are very creative but not necessarily innovative. They can be, but unless they figure out a new way of using certain materials or come up with a design pattern no one has seen before, they may never make a major breakthrough. However, you can be innovative without having to be functional, so there will never be a mass utilization of whatever that particular thing is.

Start thinking creatively as a business person. How can you provide your product or service in a manner not yet thought of? I think the person who invented panty hose was innovative. For years, women wore tight girdles or a garter belt. But it took a man to invent it. Today they don’t even wear stockings so a woman invented Spanx. And it does wonders. How did she do it? She cut off a pair of stockings and pulled it on various parts of her body as a test to see if it worked.

What is it that you can offer that your industry hasn’t thought of yet? I know you’re thinking, well I’m just a little fella, what can I come up with? Well, if you continue to think that way, you won’t get any better. I just want to get you in the mood of thinking differently. If you train your brain to look at things in a unique way, it will just automatically do that, and although you may not have a “Spanx” breakthrough, you’ll begin to look outside the box.

When you start doing that, you will start winning in a major way.