Are We All Creative?
As a leader, you have likely been told to be innovative. Right? Yet many leaders that I work with say, “But Vanessa, I’m not creative. I don’t know the first thing about being innovative.” At which point I say, “Wrong, everyone is creative. We just express it differently.”
Some of us express our creativity in the traditional sense. We are artists, musicians, poets or actors.
Many Of Us Are Creative And Don’t Even Know It
We solve a problem using a creative process, we develop software that makes people’s lives easier or we create Excel spreadsheets that are worth framing and putting on the wall at MOMA! All of this is creativity!
Recently, I heard David Usher, lead singer of the band Moist, speak at the HRPA Conference about creativity and innovation. He said something that really changed my perspective. Firstly, he acknowledged that everyone is creative and everyone has good ideas (I always knew this). Now…here is his big idea: Creativity and having a good idea is only 5% of the innovation process. The remaining 95% is hard work, sweat and perseverance. Wow! I had an epiphany. We all have good ideas but how many people actually act upon them?
I started to think about what stops people from acting on their great ideas. This first thing that came to mind is fear. For example, a fear of failure. What if I write the book and no one reads it? What if I launch the product and no one buys it? For other people, it could be a fear of success. What if everyone reads my book and loves it? What if everyone buys my product and we can’t produce enough? To be innovative, you have to move beyond your fear and start taking action.
David Usher talked about structure as the best way to move into action. What does structure have to do with innovation? According to Usher – a lot! It is structure that takes an idea and moves it forward. Read his excellent book, Let the Elephants Run: Unlock Your Creativity and Change Everything for more details on his prescribed process.
So what does this all mean for us as leaders? It means that it is time to move on your ideas. It is time to put that structure, action plan or process in place to take your ideas out of your head and bring them to the world.
So, what is your idea to make your team more engaged this year? What is your idea to make your clients happier? What is your idea to streamline that process? Let 2016 be the year where you overcome your fear, negative self-talk and resistance. Let 2016 be the year where you act on your ideas and get great stuff done!
First published in www.mosaicpd.com