People often ask--
Why creativity is important if I do not work in a creative industry?
Now, creativity was important even when there wasn't any industry. When our forefathers lived in forests and lived a nomadic life. When they used a stone to kill a lion, or a skull to store water.
Creativity is applicable, and important in any kind of job we do or industry you work in.
Because, to start with--
Creativity is a way of life!
It makes a difference to our every day life--the products we use, food we eat, homes we live in, the way we commute, the jobs that we do.
If human beings graduated from vulnerable animals to the most powerful species on our planet earth, it is because of our creativity. We exist because of our creativity.
Now, that was a point of view spread over millions of year. But even in our day-today life, creativity makes a significant difference.
Let's see, how?
Creativity Makes Us A Better Problem Solver
Creative problem solving is a well established method of solving problems. While other people try to solve the problem by routine methods and fail, a creative person approaches it differently. They start with observing the problem itself from a new angle.
For example, in one of the consulting sessions the problem was-- The indiscipline of sales people. They weren't uploading their sales performance reports on time. The manager suggested many disciplinary actions like cutting the salary, holding their bonuses etc. But when we 'questioned' the problem, and dug deeper, it turned out the reporting system was buggy and the problem was no more a 'indiscipline problem' but a 'technical glitch.'
While others struggle to get even one solution idea, creativity helps us generate multiple creative ideas which leads to better solutions.
Big Picture Thinking Makes Ideas Happen
Life isn't one linear journey but a giant jigsaw puzzle. Creativity is about connecting the dots. And creative people relate various experiences in their life much better. It helps them see not just the trees but the forest as well. When we get a glimpse of the 'big picture,' every single experience makes better sense to us. We know we are making progress.
But most importantly, when you know what the big picture is, you know more throw your hands around blindly. You know what's the next piece of puzzle you are looking for. And when we come across those solutions we grab it.
For example, Edison wasn't experimenting with filament materials mindlessly. He had a bigger picture in mind, how the electricity grid will light up the whole cities.
Creative writers don't just start writing stories. They have a sense of the 'big picture': who are going to be their target readers, youngsters, adults or experts from a science domain? They know for what genre they are writing for: Comedy, horror, romance or something else.
This understanding of the big picture, potential solutions and experiences makes life better for everyone.
Creativity Helps You See New possibilities
Creativity is about opening our minds and accepting new ways of looking at things. This helps us see possibilities which other people just can't see.
For example, when other people saw diseased body cells, Louis Pasteur saw a cure in them! That's how he created the first vaccine ever. The idea of introducing diseased cell in a person's body to prevent that disease was indeed novel. And it is saving millions of lives.
When you take a vaccine against Covid-19, thank Louis Pasteur, too.
When others were debating whether smartphones were good for poor African people, creative innovators used it for creating digital economy for the poor! (MPesa: @@@)
Whether you are a bank clerk or an HR manager, in a factory, once you adopt a creative approach to life you will find many more opportunities to make a difference in your workspace.
Creative Thinking Makes You More productive
Many people think creativity lessens productivity. Perhaps they imagine weird creative people playing around with machines and creating production line problems. But that's not what creative people do.
Truly creative people find out better ways of doing things. For example they would ask pertinent questions which can lead to elimination of unproductive and non contributing processes. They can propose a new layout which might utilise the space better. Or, they can adopt some processes from another industry and make production line go faster.
Remember Ford! He revolutionised the whole automobile industries by being creative, by shifting production to assembly line.
Creativity Helps You make better relationships
Creativity needs imagination. And that gives creative people a power to get into another person's shoes. They can empathise, how people go through various situations in life.
Now you might think of some arrogant artists who think they are different from the society and always do weird things. But again, they represent only a small section of creative geniuses.
Inventors and business people use creative eyes to understand how people go through pain. They create new products to solve those problems. They improve existing products to make them work better.
It is important to talk about design thinking here. The whole design thinking approach is based on empathy and experiences of people. Design thinkers not just talk to people, they actually go through the experiences and understand first hand how people use certain products and services. They go extra mile to have this deeper understanding.
Also add sales people in this discussion. They, too, are imaginative. They imagine about various objections that potential customer might have in accepting their product. They also imagine about various use case where customer might be benefited by their product and offerings. That's how they sell new concepts and products.
Conclusion: Creative thinking is the skill for the future!
Business leaders believe creativity and new idea generation skills will make a real difference to the business. They are counting the creative competency as an important skill in the managers of the future.
Because we all know how creative business leaders and successful entrepreneur like Steve Jobs and Amazon's Jeff Bezos have created new wealth not just for themselves but for the whole world. Such entrepreneurs understand that imitating old ways of doing things only create old world results. They want creative people who can create breakthroughs. People who believe in these leaders' 'impossible ideas' and can make them true.
It's not just about entrepreneurial business, even the traditional industries are adopting new ways of doing business. They are also upgrading their creative thinking prowess through creativity training and innovation initiatives in their organisations on a regular basis.
Creative people will be highly in demand as we are moving into the new decade. In post-Covid world, people who can work under constraints and yet can create good results with their ideas will be preferred over people who are fixed into a mindset. Who aren't flexible and can't move ahead of the times.