Today, businesses are challenged in an infinite number of ways, many of which are relatively new. Today’s business needs to:
- know what their customers care about before their customers (and certainly before their competitors) figure it out
- deliver better, faster and cheaper products and services in a global economy
- minimize their footprint in a planet in peril
- leverage technology before getting replaced by it
- continuously introduce innovation and excitement into a market that is over-stimulated, flowing with abundance and believes that it has seen it all
Most importantly, today’s business needs to know how to lead people to do all of the above.
The ability to identify, recruit and foster creativity in business will become a powerful differentiator in our time. According to the CBC, Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, preaches that we are perched on the cusp of the third industrial revolution:
…we’re entering what he calls the conceptual age… It’s staffed with “creators and emphathizers.” In other words, right brainers. In selling products and services, it is the skills of the artist — design and emotion, intuition and aesthetic value — that will rule…
The new conceptual workers are those who create and also feel the pain and the needs of the market. They offer us more than products: they tell stories, they engage emotionally.
…make yourself more attractive in the new conceptual marketplace…don’t just recite facts. Create experiences not just products. Cross boundaries and synthesize.
As with every revolution, the conceptual age will be met with resistance and challenge. This same article, Does the future belong to right-brained humans?, indicates that:
We Canadians have a lot of right-brain work to do, mind you. The Conference Board of Canada reports that Canada earned a D on an innovation report card. Out of the 17 advanced economies, we were number 13.
In an age where analytical skills have been rewarded and right brain thinkers have been encouraged to adapt left brain thinking in order to climb the corporate ladder, such a trend can be a little unnerving.
It can also be exhilarating for businesses that see the opportunity that lies beneath the challenge.
The point of unharnessing creativity in business is not to send all your employees to art class but rather to gain insight as to how we can invite right brain thinking into a left brain world. Here are just a few ideas to get you started on the adventure of unharnessing creativity in your business.
Leadership that eliminates fear of failure is conducive to creative thinking. Nothing kills a great idea faster than the fear of reprisal. Today, traditional authoritative leaders are being replaced by transformative, creative and lateral leaders that know how to draw the most out of the people that they lead. This idea was vividly demonstrated by the recent majority election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.
I have recently had the honour to speak at Entrepreneur Day, organized by Youth Employment Services. This event provides Canadian youth with the opportunity and the tools to become our future entrepreneurs. Two engaging presentations discussed new ideas on encouraging creativity in business.
Morgan Smith introduced us to various techniques that enable us to tap into our inner creative genius. These techniques were designed to remove our automatic filtering system and encourage new ways of looking at old problems using information that is stored deep within our right brain. By way of example, his Conundrum Decipher technique enables us to develop creative solutions for problems that already exist in the marketplace. Morgan is a creative writer and life coach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesse Stong introduced us to a technique that enables creative expansion and evaluation of business ideas through random association, collaboration and role playing. Jesse is the founder of Real Eyes Services. He offers innovative interactive workshops focused on enabling businesses to be creatively engaged.
It would seem that Pink’s conceptual age is indeed arriving.
I expect that enterprising businesses are paying attention.
Photo credit (top): pannaphotos