Why creative thinking is important in every industry
Many of us make the assumptions that, firstly creativity is only related to the likes of art, music, poetry and dance, and secondly that not everyone can be creative.This fixed mindset carried into business and industries that are not creative can be quite limiting. Creative thinking is accessible to all and should be used in every business in every industry.
The meaning of creativity encompasses anything which involves creating something new or the use of imagination; this can relate to anything from creating a meal, a painting, a new car engine, a marketing strategy, LinkedIn profile, a new system for invoicing to a sales pitch or a recruitment process. Every individual has the ability to be creative in some form, and creative thinking in business is important for every industry. Here’s why.
In an interview with Simon Sinek, he introduces the idea of how today’s technology reliant environment can have harmful effects on the generation of new ideas. Addicted to our devices, the modern human being has normalised the addictive habit of sitting on our phones in moments when we are waiting or alone. “If you don’t have the phone, that’s when you enjoy the world and that’s when ideas happen. The constant engagement is not where you have innovation and ideas. Ideas happen when our minds wander and you see something and we think I bet they could do that and that’s innovation but we are taking away all those moments.” Instead of expecting new ideas to be born out of the isolated seat behind our screens, we should think about creating environments which support creative thinking and idea generation.
Gets People Inspired
As Ed Catmull profoundly states in his book, Creativity,Inc, “when it comes to creative inspiration, job titles and hierarchy are meaningless.” Dedicating time to creative thinking as a team is one of the best ways to inspire people, and create a flat hierarchy. Many businesses begin with a dream or a goal and are initially fueled by passion, excitement and enthusiasm. Often, overtime this initial spark is dimmed by mundane daily tasks or inevitable business stresses. Meetings, tasks, conversations, activities and brainstorming sessions dedicated to creative thinking are a way to inspire employees and remind them of the bigger picture: the business’ vision, initial dream and overarching goal.
Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation and innovative thinking is not only reserved for technology related industries. Innovation is about discovering new methods and advancing. Often the most groundbreaking products or services are born from innovative thinking which leads to new, fresh, unconventional, experimental and ingenious discoveries. Every business could benefit from the discovery of new and better ways of doing things, whether it’s improving the design of an iPhone or the route a delivery truck takes to save time and money.
In his book, Think! Before It’s Too Late, de Bono makes a good point about “a dangerous habit in psychology of calling all thinking problem-solving” which suggests that “if we do not perceive a problem, there is no point thinking about it”. This thought-provoking idea makes one wonder, what would happen if we used our problem solving skills in a way which was possibilities focused? Instead of only using creative thinking when something goes wrong to solve already existing problems, use creative thinking as a tool to make good business systems and strategies even better. Creativity is never-ending and when introduced to our thinking, the possibilities for improvement are plenty.
Creative thinking should be important to all businesses, and not just the creative ones. Creative thinking leads to the generation of new ideas, innovation, creative inspiration and enhances problem solving.