As an ideation speaker, I talk a lot about creativity and idea generation, as these are some of the most important skills I learned during my time as Head of Creativity and Innovation at The Walt Disney Company. More specifically, I focus most of my efforts on showing people how to make their business creative and idea driven.
What I don’t speak about as much is why your business needs to be creative. Quite honestly, I don’t broach this topic frequently because it feels so obvious: creativity isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity! Whether you create magical children’s films and theme parks, or you do corporate accounting, creativity and innovative thinking are what allow your business to stand out from the competition and succeed.
Let’s talk about why creativity is so crucial for companies.
Outthink Your Competitors
There are a lot of companies in the world, and they all want to make money. No matter what you’re selling – childcare, legal services, beds, tchotchkes – the chances are high that someone entered the market before you did.
Maybe there’s enough room for all the companies in your field to succeed. But it’s much more likely that you’re competing in an oversaturated market. And if every dollar counts, and there’s a choice between your company and a competitor, don’t you want to stand out?
Creativity is how you stand out. Even if you have the same problems, the same resources, or the same products as your competitors, you don’t have to have the same ideas.
Creativity allows you to sharpen your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) into a razor’s edge. It allows you to define yourself in a market as something worth paying attention to. It enables you to do more with less.
Do Work That Matters in Your Field
If you want to operate your business the same way that everyone else does, you might be able to turn a profit. Some areas are underserved, and some industries resist innovation more strongly than others.
Still, you’re not going to be noticed for doing things the same way that everyone else does. You’re not going to solve the unsolvable problems or do exciting things in your field.
Creativity leads to profit because it allows you to come up with ideas that matter. Even if you could turn a profit doing something that didn’t matter, why would you?
Creativity Creates Victors
As we’ve seen in the rivalry between Netflix and Blockbuster, Walmart and Sears, Amazon and department stores, and countless other examples, creative innovators dominate their fields. They make the “same old, same old” not good enough, and their creativity allows them to develop an unfair competitive advantage, capture the lion’s share of the old market, and generate an entirely new market at the same time.
Businesses that allow creativity to flourish find themselves at the top time and time again. So start embracing the creativity within your business, and see just how much power this tool really wields!