Creative Wings

Articles: Creativity in Business

Learn To Solve Any Business Challenge Using Creativity

There is no need, no service, no asset, no skill imaginable that cannot be accessed through creativity. Thinking outside the box and getting creative in finding solutions to business “challenges” can be vital for small and mid-sized businesses. Common frustrations that entrepreneurs face such as staffing, equipment, services, marketing, etc. can all be overcome by thinking up creative solutions to challenges.

What do I mean by creative solutions? Well, there are a lot of things that you can do.

You could create strategic alliances, secure endorsements, negotiate revenue sharing arrangements, barter, build independent contractor relationships, and more. I will cover each of these more in-depth in future posts, but the key point I’d like to relay is that entrepreneurs should try to think as creatively as possible. Don’t simply accept the status quo or the fact that you need to pay for everything.  Also, don’t forget joint ventures are another creative strategy you can use.


How To Outperform Experts With Creative Collaboration

27 February 2013 2:34 AM

Put an expert up against a group of non-experts working together, and who’ll come up with the better idea? You might be surprised.

Terry West, director of research at office-furniture company Steelcase, says a lone expert will produce a quick, “adequate” solution, whereas a group of average workers “will take longer … but they’ll outperform the expert every time.”

Progressive companies are reaping rewards from creative collaboration—people of different disciplines working toward a common goal. Maximizing their productivity requires a basic understanding of workplace interaction and human behaviour.

The Social/Private Balance

The best collaborative models balance group with individual work. Even the most social employees need privacy, whether to think or just to have some alone time.

Julie Barnhart-Hoffman, interior design researcher at Steelcase, believes space that’s clearly defined can help. “When I walk into a space that is zoned as a ‘library,’” she says, “the space should communicate that it’s a place for quiet and reflection. … Then when I walk into a collaboration space, it prompts me about how open and collaborative the space is going to be.”Flexibility And Choice

Standing-level tables can promote a democratic environment, as can surfaces that facilitate working side by side. Yet executives should also encourage teams to “own” their space by repurposing or customising it to their needs.

Creative collaboration represents the best way to harness employees’ collective inspiration. By configuring workspaces for both interaction and privacy, companies create the opportunity for the collaborative whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.


How Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, And Maria Popova Got More Creative


"We learn, from the time we're little, the process of the scientific method--how to discover things--but we don't teach the parallel art of how to invent things," Stanford innovation scholar Tina Seelig told us, "That's one of the reasons creativity seems so mysterious. We don't, from the time they're young, teach people the components of what you need to invent, as opposed to discover."

And so we seek to discover how people invent, by dissecting their morning routines and unraveling the habits of what makes the Most Creative People--so that we normal folks may become more creative.

But as the ever-stimulating curator of interestingness, Maria Popova--herself a Most Creative Person--contends, creative work need not put the super into superlative.

It's rather a matter of connecting dots--if you would listen to Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and the like.


Can creativity save the business world?

Dynamics between the arts, business and education are in flux. Are CEOs committed to being creative or just talking the talk?

Creativity is the key to good business, say CEOs. But will they put their money where their mouth is? Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

According to IBM's most recent global CEO study, the majority of CEOs believe the key to navigating today's volatile, uncertain and increasingly complex business environment is creativity. Is this just business leaders talking the talk or are 21st-century businesses really committed to being creative?

Next month, The Culture Capital Exchange, a new membership organisation of 11 London universities, will bring together business leaders, cultural and creative entrepreneurs, academics and artists for a conference on the value, connections and interventions between creativity and business. They will debate whether these sectors could become more fertile by working together – and how.



How to stimulate creativity in business

How to stimulate creativity in business

Creativity in business is crucial. Your ability to come up with new ideas, different ways to solve problems and exciting products or services could be the difference between success and failure.

It can be easy in a large company to get stuck in ‘same old’ mindsets but, when you’re in a smaller company, you have flexibility to explore new avenues. Relying on fixed ways of doing things stifles innovation, can lead to narrow mindedness and will give you the feeling that things ‘are going to be OK’ when they could actually be ‘brilliant.’

Of course, as with any job, the need to simply ‘get things done’ can mean that creativity gets pushed onto the back burner. So making time for creative thinking is vitally important.

Creativity is not just good for a company, it’s good for a nation’s economy

A few years back Graham Cox, chairman of the Design Council, compiled a report on how best to enhance business productivity by drawing on creative capabilities.

It made recommendations on how to strengthen the relationship between SMEs and creative professionals and links between university departments to encourage economic growth.



INSTANT MBA: 3 Things That Spark Creativity

25 July 2013 6:09 AM

Today’s advice comes from Teresa Amabile, professor at Harvard Business School, via LinkedIn:

“Managers need to give people some autonomy in what they’re doing … Google, I think, has a 20% time rule. This is essentially protecting time for people to pursue projects that are really interesting to them … Some of the most creative ideas come out of that time where people feel that they have autonomy as long as they have a clear sense of what they’re trying to accomplish.”

Amabile says that creativity cannot exist without autonomy, resources and time. Each part of the creativity trifecta relies on the other, and managers and supervisors hold the key to providing those parts to their employees. They just have to be willing and patient.

Amabile says that managers should provide resources to subordinates in order to spark creativity. If they don’t, people will spend more time finding the resources they need instead of focusing on the real issue. Time is another tool that managers can give their employees to allow for better creativity.

“We’ve learned that many managers believe that they can stimulate creativity by putting people under very tight deadlines. That’s a myth. In fact, across the board in general, people are more creative when they have a little bit of time to explore a problem, reflect on what they’re doing, gather new information, and to talk to people who might have different perspectives, which can be enormously useful.”


Working Creativity

Tapping into your everyday genius.

by Mark Batey, Ph.D.
What are we doing about the Creativity Crisis?
What can be done about the Creativity Crisis?
Published on October 28, 2010 by Mark Batey, Ph.D. in Working Creativity

Recent research and articles in the media have suggested that creativity is essential in the workplace.  It forms the basis for the number one strategic aim for companies the world over and is in crisis in our classrooms.  Yet, despite these stories, you might be left with the impression that little is being done to identify, assess or develop creative capacity.  Sadly, you would probably be right.

A recent survey of over 1500 CEO's from more than 60 countries and 30 industries has found that the most important trait for leaders now and in the future is creativity.  Creativity will allow companies to navigate through increasing complexity, invite disruptive innovation and adapt business models to new consumers and markets.  Another global survey has found that creativity and innovation are the number one strategic imperative of businesses.  Lastly, and perhaps of the greatest importance is the finding that creativity in our children is in decline. We are facing a Creativity Crisis.
In short...  CEO's believe creativity is essential. Organizations wish to focus on innovation, but this most crucial of human resources, creativity, is in an ever-dwindling supply.  However, creativity is not just essential for business, but for all of us in our everyday lives.  From finding new and useful ways of solving simple problems through to stretching our budgets whilst we face economic uncertainty.

I believe the time has come for us to take action.  To address the crisis and bring creativity to the fore once again.


Organisational Creativity


There has been an increasing focus on understanding how organisations are placing creativity at the centre of their strategies, process improvements and how creativity lies at the heart of entrepreneurialism, high performance and agility. There has also been a focus on the macro issues that will underlie economic growth and profitability.



The Boston Consulting Group’s 2010 strategy survey of 1600 executives found that creativity and innovation had returned to the top of the strategic agenda – a trend that had been evident since 2003. The executives felt that creativity was essential for successful recovery from the downturn. Further, the report suggested that companies in ‘mature’ economies are underestimating the importance of investment in innovation. The report predicts that a new world order will occur, because companies in ‘emerging’ economies are planning to invest far greater effort in promoting innovation. Similar themes were found in the Ernst & Young 2010 Connecting Innovation to Profit report.


Business processes

The NESTA Everyday Innovation report found that creativity was perceived to be fundamental in improving products, processes and services.


Similarly, one of the respondents in the Ernst & Young 2010 Connecting Innovation to Profit report suggested that “We assume that 50% of our revenue in 5 years’ time must come from sources that do not exist today. That is why we innovate.” Respondents identified creativity as a key driver of new business processes.


Entrepreneurial companies

The Ernst & Young 2010 Connecting Innovation to Profit report outlined the prominence of creativity for aggressively entrepreneurial companies. They conducted research with 263 entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries and 90% of the global economy. The entrepreneurs surveyed were judged by a jury of senior entrepreneurs and business leaders. The results indicated that “the ability to manage, organise, cultivate and nurture creative thinking is directly linked to growth and achievement”. Further, the report highlighted that “Innovation ‘for the sake of it’ is often essential, but the speed at which a fast-growth company moves forward will depend on its ability to connect creativity to profit.” Some of the key themes in the report centred around growth, business advantage, scalability, the identification of creative talent and the development of a culture of creativity. Below are some selected quotations from the report.


  • 82% of the entrepreneurs strongly agreed that innovation was critical to the growth of their business. The same percentage said it was the one genuine advantage they had over their rivals.
  • Fast-growth companies need to make innovation a predictable, scalable activity. It has to be nurtured, managed.
  • Successful fast-growth companies looked to innovate and encourage creativity in areas not normally considered like human resources and finance.
  • 77% of respondents believed that a key driver of creative performance involved the identification and hiring of creative people.
  • As entrepreneurial businesses grow, they need to protect the free-thinking, creative behaviors that launched them on their journey to market leadership. They need to foster a culture of creativity.