The ability to brainstorm innovative and viable solutions to current problems
What is it?
Creativity is the ability to generate new and novel ideas to solve problems and create a competitive advantage.
Why is it important?
Companies need to stay on the cutting edge or they will fade into obscurity. It may take time but the companies that aren’t reinventing themselves regularly will be yesterday’s news. Employees who can think outside the box and see things that others don’t see are invaluable.
We need to be able to endure the initial frustration of not having the right answer and push through to another wave of fresh ideas. This process of wading through the swamp of imperfect ideas can be very difficult for some but it is essential in order to uncover the buried treasure of innovation.
Learn How to Brainstorm
We need to be able to facilitate creative brainstorming. In the idea generating phase, the goal of brainstorming is quantity and not quality. Have your team come up with as many ideas as possible. It’s often best to allow people to do this in silence working independently. Then, record all the ideas on a whiteboard or public space for discussion. Combine and eliminate ideas to create a short list that can be debated and, eventually, voted on.
Explore Sources of Inspiration
Finally, when our personal resources are tapped and we’ve stalled out, we need to explore other sources of inspiration that might stir our creative juices. That could mean spending a few hours in a book store or library rooting around for clues. Or it could mean taking a colleague out to lunch to pick his or her brain about new ways of thinking about the issue at hand. Or it might mean we need to stimulate the left sides of our brains by going to a play, listening to a CD, or watching a movie. There are a limitless number of ways to stimulate and unleash our own creativity.