People are naturally artistic, creative, and innovative beings. We developed creativity at least 40,000 years ago when Homo sapiens covered cave walls with paintings of animals. Today, we need creative chops every day to solve problems, and lead interesting, fulfilling lives.
Fast-forward a few ages and we’re incorporating creativity into the workplace, not just to pass time in a cozy cave on a dark, winter night, but because it’s vital to our business’ survival.
Staying innovative and responding to the vast developments in the information age with unique responses provides companies a larger opportunity to be successful and stay relevant.
Creativity is about trusting intuition, taking risks, and not comparing your ideas to what has already been done. As PayPal co-founder, Peter Theil points out in his book Zero to One,
“What makes the future distinctive and important, isn’t that it hasn’t happened yet, but that it will be a time when the world will look different from the way it looks today. In this sense, if nothing about our society changes in the next 100 years, then the future is over a hundred years away. If things change radically in the next decade, then the future is nearly at hand.”
To Theil’s point, it is creativity that propels us into our own future world. It’s a natural evolution of humankind, organically happening in cycles to thrust us forward, into the next versions of ourselves. It has traditionally been visionaries and creatives that help us get there.
The millennial marketplace is one such playground where creativity is begging to thrive.
Let’s look at a more recent historical instance of the thrust toward creativity and its impeccable ability to siphon the visionaries from the well, the simply vapid. When the creators of Blackberry were presented with an idea for a phone that doubled as a computer with a touch screen, the idea was turned down. Because of this failure to think innovatively, Blackberry became obsolete. No one yearns for a Blackberry today. We’ve all turned to our iPhones.
In this quintessential example of a lack of creative forethought, it’s obvious to see how damaging it can be not to understand what your target audience wants. You’ve got to anticipate market needs, not wait for them to present themselves to you. This requires thinking creatively. Refusing to change with the rise in technological advancements can make or break a company. The importance of staying open-minded to new ideas and ways of doing things is critical.
The backbone of creativity is embracing novelty, a willingness to be “wrong,” and setting aside old beliefs to create new ones. Staying creative includes listening to other's ideas, granting yourself the freedom to try new things, and embracing curiosity.
Millennials are eager to embrace creative change, and in fact, are turning away from jobs that don’t allow them to flex this muscle.
Creativity is another way of saying you're willing to come up with new ideas, not just patch old ones together. There is a process behind every creative genius' workflow. So, coming up with your own to put you in the right headspace to receive ideas and communicate with your subconscious is key.
In fact, knowing how to communicate with your unconscious mind can propel many creative ideas to the surface of your mind. This way, you can apply them in real life. When listening to many artists, business people, or engineers speak about how they come up with ideas, you will start to see a pattern come up.
This pattern usually includes a combination of discipline and some sort of mindfulness practice. Yoga, meditation, walking in the park are all ways that many great people have found themselves having a eureka moment. Finding your own routine to put you in the flow space will help bridge the connection between you and your creativity.
Staying inspired is another way to keep up on your creativity. You won't want to over-consume media because this will leave your energy drained and depleted. Instead, set aside a set amount of time daily or weekly to consume music, movies, books, and art that inspires you will help keep you motivated.
Having a wide scope of knowledge about how your business functions is going to help you remain creative. When you are up to date on the latest trends, you can focus on applying your creative skills to your projects. Plan by paying attention to what's popular in video, audio, photos, or copy.
Just as you should be familiar with what's happening in your area of business, you shouldn't get lost in what competitors are doing. Comparing yourself to others will result in you losing your brand identity and mission as a brand. Keep what is valuable to you and your company in mind so that you're never sacrificing quality and authenticity for staying trendy. Try to stand apart, not be the loudest or brightest with the same message as everyone else.
Many companies rely on repeat customers who make up the majority of their profitable business. Take advantage of this by studying them. You can reach out to your biggest fans to see how they would like to see the company evolve. Or, try a different approach by creating custom-curated packages for loyal consumers where you can let your creativity run wild.
Without your customers, your business wouldn't be functioning, especially in the gig market. Work with your customers on what they want and need in the marketplace, so you're giving them the highest quality production available.
Approaching your business like it's a start-up helps humble you and come up with unique ways of presenting your brand. Thinking like an entrepreneur allows you to assess every area of your business with a fresh set of eyes.
Coming up with ideas, innovating, and applying creativity are all ways to make your brand successful. Adopting a lifestyle that encourages you to be organized, focused, and innovative allows for creativity to flow.
To work with professionals who help create engaging, creative content for your vision, get started with Blended Sense.