“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered;
the point is to discover them.” ~ Galileo Galilei
The Creativity Gap
A 2012 Adobe study on creativity shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believe they are living up to their own creative potential
What is Creativity?
Creativity and innovation are linked, but are two very different animals. Michelangelo was creative; Henry Ford was innovative. Ford developed the assembly line and revolutionized the application of mass production to supply millions of cars to a new market. He once said that if he had listened to the marketplace he would have built a faster, cheaper horse. Innovation implies a successful application of thinking, not pure thought.
Creativity may produce an invention, which in turn can lead to a patent, but inventions and patents do not constitute innovation. Lafley and Charan, in their book Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation, sum it up as: “An innovation is the conversion of a new idea into revenues and profits.”
YOU ARE CREATIVE!
Why is it important today?
The best and most successful organizations are those that ask everyone to be part of the innovation process. In such companies, creativity is not compartmentalized; innovation is not an aspect of particular jobs, but of all jobs.
Henry Ford also serves as an example of what occurs when innovation stops. Ford Motor once controlled 60% of auto sales. But his attitude that “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” lost the number one position to General Motors when it made color options available, and Ford’s sales fell to 20% of new car sales in the 1940s.
Procter & Gamble is not only one of the largest companies in the consumer products industry but also one of the most innovative. Incremental innovations constantly add minor improvements to products or processes. Disruptive innovation creates new consumption, transforming current markets or making them obsolete. For example, Tide detergent was disruptive, replacing soap with synthetic detergent. Since World War II, P&G has produced 17 disruptive innovations.
A.G. Lafley became CEO of P&G in 2000 and put innovation at the forefront of daily operations. “The consumer-is-boss” was his first rule. Lafley called upon the entire company to offer ideas, setting a goal of 50% of total production for new products and technology to come from outside P&G. Sustainable organic growth, driven by innovation, was a particular priority.
The economy can be stimulated to restore stability to the system, but creation and innovation are necessary to return to true prosperity. Everyone, at every level of your company, must get smarter. Now is the time to initiate the evolutionary or revolutionary changes in products and corporations to lay the basis for enduring success. There is no cost to being creative, but there is a tremendous penalty for not encouraging creativity and innovation in every individual and organization.
IBM Survey of 0ver 1,500 Chief Executive Officers worldwide says Creativity is the most important skill for the future. Read the report here.
How do you go about being “intentionally creative”?
While their brands and industries and products vary, common among them is an atmosphere conducive to collaborative creation. One of the best ways to generate ideas toward a resolution is brainstorming. Some rules of brainstorming are listed on the Brainstorming page. The basic premise is that two, or multiple, brains are better than one and to toss out as many crazy ideas as possible as quickly as possible within a loosely organized framework.