Sunday, 26 August 2018 06:29

The Importance of Creativity in Business Featured

Creative Brainstorming Hero

Organizations today operate in a highly competitive, global environment, making creativity crucial. Creativity is what fuels big ideas, challenges employees’ way of thinking, and opens the door to new business opportunities. “Creativity” and “innovation” are often used interchangeably for that reason, but are two separate concepts.

“Innovation isn’t just one thing,” Marion says. “There are a lot of competencies that go into realizing an innovation. Creativity is different because creativity is a mechanism to being innovative. You can have great ideas, but not be innovative.”

Creativity in business is a crucial first step that needs to be prioritized by senior leadership. A survey by IBM of more than 1,500 chief executive officers shows consensus: Creativity was ranked as the number one factor for future business success—above management discipline, integrity, and even vision.

One reason for that is: Creative leaders are more comfortable with ambiguity. And as industries continue to evolve, business goals and priorities will need to change. Eight in 10 surveyed CEOs said they expect their industry to become significantly more complex. Only 49 percent, however, are confident their organizations are equipped to deal with the transformation.

“Every industry is being challenged by dynamics globally and changes in technology,” Marion says.

Several retailers, like Apple, are trying to rise to the challenge by creating “experiences.” Take Starbucks, for example. Customers visit for more than the seasonal beverages; they go for the ambiance. From the warm, welcoming interior color scheme to the alternative music and, often, neighborhood-inspired furniture or art, there’s more to the brand than what it’s selling behind the counter.

Target is another example. The chain recently announced plans for how it’s reimagining its more than 1,800 stores. One change is that shoppers will be able to “choose their own adventure” by picking from one of two store entrances. The first will lead customers to a grab-and-go food and wine and beer shop, featuring self-checkout lanes and the option to pick up any online orders. The second entrance will bring customers to the store’s other beauty, fashion, home, and electronics displays.

“Now we’re selling experiences, and those experiences need to be well-designed,” Marion says. “Creativity lends itself to that and inspires good design.”

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