creativity for business

Creativity for Business: Balancing the Creative Process with the Demands of Running a Business

The following post contains some tips on creativity for business. Here’s the thing, creativity is about play and business is about work. And yet there are benefits to figuring out how to balance the creative process with the demands of running a business.

Something both creativity and business have in common is risk. So why is risk acceptable on the business side and not the creative side? We can’t be all work and no play but we also can’t be all play and no work.

Business success, however, isn’t just about profits, at least not for me. My definition of success includes creative fulfillment, the opportunity to make a unique contribution through my creativity. That’s where we’ll start, defining success and making creativity a value.

Believing in the Importance of Innovative Solutions

The first step is believing in the importance of innovative solutions, it has to be a way of life and a way of thinking. We have to value creative thinking and imaginative ideas enough that they’re worth the risk. We can’t get creative solutions without creative thinking and we can’t get creative thinking if we don’t encourage creativity.

When you think about success, the business world often focuses on profits and numbers. Creativity serves a deeper purpose. When we’re allowed to use our creativity to come up with unique solutions, we feel a deeper sense of satisfaction at our contribution.

We don’t have to define success like the rest of the business world, in fact, we shouldn’t. Instead, let’s take a moment to be intentional about our definition of success and make sure it’s in alignment with our values. Heck, we can even come up with a few creative ideas for a new definition.

Foster Creativity and Grow a Creative Mindset

Fostering creativity means encouraging and promoting the development of creativity. Creativity is a process, it’s a practice, it’s a skill that we develop and it involves making mistakes and taking risks. Risk-taking is something that some of us don’t give ourselves permission for but if we never leave our comfort zone, we’ll never get anywhere.

We need to change the way we look at risk-taking and failure. Instead of being afraid of it, we need to see it as part of the creative process. Minimize the real risks if you have to, but don’t be afraid to take some.

The real challenge is not how to get it right the first time but to change directions when we fail. The creative process is like the scientific process, we make a hypothesis and test it to see if we were right. And even if we’re wrong, what we learned was what was important.

Encouraging Creativity and Celebrating Creative Solutions

How do we encourage creative thinking? Let’s step back and look at what we’ve already talked about. First, we create a company culture that values creativity and sees it as essential to the business’s success. Then, we foster creativity by making brainstorming, idea generation, and unique solutions part of our business model.

To really encourage creativity we have to be willing to hear and consider diverse perspectives, our mind has to be open and flexible. Sometimes the more we know, the more we limit our creative thinking with our so-called expertise. We need to return to a beginner’s mindset and solve problems with creative approaches.

We develop strategies and systems for the way we always do certain things but we also need to develop a creative mindset that allows us to try unique ideas. Don’t stop when you find one way to solve a problem, making space for creative solutions means being open to digging a little deeper.

Reward Creativity and the Joy of Creative Thinking

Lastly, if we value creativity and we encourage it, we should also reward it. Creative problem-solving can lead to new customers, streamlined business operations, or improve the efficiency of the workday. Those are rewards in themselves if we recognize them.

If new ideas led to new customers, put credit where credit is due. If new solutions helped you improve efficiency then allow yourself flexible work arrangements and take a day off. Even if creative thinking didn’t directly lead to problem-solving, the creative mindset should be celebrated.

This brings us back full circle to the inherent benefits of creativity, when I get to be creative and use my personalized approach to solve problems, I don’t feel like a commodity replaceable by someone or something else. If we can work to stimulate creativity, the reward will not only be in the resulting creative ideas but in the joy of the creative process.

Practical Tips: Creativity for Business

Here are a few practical tips for balancing creativity in business. Remember creativity in business can be a value, a choice, and a path toward your new destination and definition of success. Best wishes for building a more creative business!

  1. Sometimes you do things for the money and sometimes you do things for the joy of the creative process. The goal is to gradually get those two goals to overlap.
  2. Infuse creativity in areas of frustration. For example, if you’re annoyed by traditional marketing methods have the marketing team generate ideas that step beyond that.
  3. Remember that great ideas often come after bad ones, don’t be afraid of new ideas. Brainstorming sessions are about taking in all the different perspectives and being open to new and interesting ideas.
  4. Put more creativity in business and not only will it lead to creative outcomes but also creative fulfillment.
  5. You can choose to be a creative person by being open to new ideas and practicing your creative ways.
  6. Creativity requires risk, which is why I think you see a lot of it in the outdoor space where risk is viewed as an exciting challenge.

About the author

I am Brenda Bergreen, one half of a husband and wife photography team specializing in Colorado wedding photography and videography and adventure photography. If you found this helpful, check out this meditation for creativity and other creativity blog posts.

Download our free guide on how to build a creative business and a life you love. I always love connecting with other creative thinkers. Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help!

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