Creativity Makes Better Business

By John R. Graham

Since one of the keys to being on top in business today is creativity, don’t just sit around hoping something good will happen. Use the following ways to get new ideas flowing, create opportunities, open doors and stimulate extra sales.

Take a look at your office. What’s been changed in the last five years? Is this an interesting place? A dynamic environment that gets the ideas flowing?

Change your reading patterns by going outside your field to get some new ideas from sharp minds in other fields.

Begin talking about ideas. Search out people who may want to share new concepts.

Put your thoughts on paper. Thoughts become concrete when you force yourself either to take pen in hand or to hit the computer keys.

Get excited about something. Dull, plodding organizations are the lengthened shadow of plodding presidents and managers who stopped enjoying work years ago.

Find one new place a month to have lunch. Ignore the old haunts where you feel comfortable.

Think about how many times you say no. Chances are, a lot of noes indicate a desire to avoid change and problems. Saying yes more than no will encourage creative ideas in others.

What do you want to accomplish next? People with dreams – not fantasies but dreams attached to goals to get there – seem to be more creative and innovative.

Make three positive changes in your business operation. What they are isn’t too important. Start by moving a few things around. Frankly, just about any change you can think of will do a good job of upsetting the equilibrium. And that’s the goal because it will get people thinking, asking questions and wondering what’s going to happen next.

Voice some new ideas, then ask for critiques of them. Ask your people to shoot holes in them, then ask them for something better. If you’re willing to stick your neck out and get shot down, maybe they’ll have the courage to voice a good idea.

Being creative and open to making improvements does not require a certain type of person. It does, however, demand a certain frame of mind. For the most part, that means stimulating creativity by deliberately putting yourself in circumstances that challenge the mind, upset the balance and antagonize the prejudices – your own and those of everyone in your organization. The key to creativity in business is in you.