Strategic Design | marketing & branding thoughts by Nick Rice

Dynamic marketing, branding & design strategies that span the gap between business & creative.


Creativity or a slow death?

Submitted to Hugh as a mini-manifesto...

I read somewhere that the best test for creativity in business was simply to ask “are you creative?” So I tried it. And for the majority of people it seemingly proved true. The people that we all see as creative (designers, PowerPoint gurus, out of the box thinkers) said yes; and the planners, project managers, sales people said no. So I naively believed it to be true.

Watching my two year old daughter run around and play reminds me that we’re all creative. We all have boundless imaginations. We always have. Unfortunately our educational system has progressively worked that aspect our being out of our nature. No educational system on the planet puts as much emphasis on creativity as they do logic. Think about the number of math and science classes you took versus the arts and humanities. Not that logic is bad. In fact, it’s a critical element of life. I just believe that we are over-balanced on logic compared to creativity.

I believe the lack of creativity is slowly killing business. That lack is driving everything to a commodity price-driven market. It's creating an environment that puts cost cutting before customer satisfaction. Without creative thinking how will the engineering team discover the next breakthrough product? How will the marketing team develop messaging that stands above a crowded market place.

Creativity isn’t solely the realm of designers and ad agencies. It shouldn't be associated with art. It does not equal wild and crazy. It doesn’t equal foolishness. And being "creative" not a job title.

When you hear “out of the box thinking”; that’s the call to creativity. It’s your management team asking you to come up with a new approach. It’s daring to think differently. It’s not copying the competition. And after all, when you boil it down isn’t creative thinking what we’re paid to do? If everyone has the same view, the same ideas, the same approach, and the same results why are we all still here?

To succeed in business is to be creative in your role. Growth demands creativity. It will separate you from the competition. As humans we’re trained to only notice what’s different in our environment. Therefore, standing out is the best way to raise awareness.The lack of creativity across the board is not only hurting your brand, it's ultimately hurting your profitability. And it’s hurting your employees.

Creativity isn’t a special gift - we’re all born with it. It never leaves, it’s just hiding behind years of logic. I challenge you to find time to let the two year old inside of you come out and play. Your employees, customers, and shareholders will thank you.

technorati tags > creativity, gaping void, business, marketing, growth, strategies

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