Mention the word creativity, and people begin to squirm in their chairs. The very thought can prompt anxiety, fear, and doubt — even in the most accomplished professionals. Let’s explore some common myths, and uncover the truth behind this fuzzy topic.
MYTH 1: Creativity is only needed at the top
TRUTH: In today’s business environment, creativity applies to everyone. The organizations that win in these challenging times have creativity as a core priority at all levels of the organizational chart. We must embrace the concept of Everyday Creativity: fresh ideas and creative problem solving in every business setting. Every meeting. Every customer interaction.
MYTH 2: People are creative (or not) based on what they do
TRUTH: Your role has nothing to do with your creativity. There are professional musicians in major symphonies that are great technicians but don’t use an ounce of creativity. There are also statisticians that are brilliantly creative. Don’t let labels dictate or limit your creativity.
MYTH 3: Creativity can’t be developed
TRUTH: As human beings, we all have tremendous creative capacity; we just need to develop it. Your level of creativity isn’t fixed at birth. Instead, think of creativity as an expandable muscle. You don’t become a champion bodybuilder without hitting the gym. Similarly, to build creative capacity requires some practice and focus. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific research confirming that you can grow your creativity at any age.
MYTH 4: Creativity isn’t my job
TRUTH: Today, creativity is everyone’s job. For your organization to enjoy success, creativity must be harnessed at all levels. It is no longer just something those “art people” do. There isn’t a job function that can’t benefit from creative problem solving, fresh ideas for the future, or simply finding a better way.
MYTH 5: My technical skills and experience are enough
TRUTH: Maybe in the past, but definitely not in the future. Unorthodox approaches, original thought and imagination have become the currency for success in the new world of business … and life. The difference between getting a promotion, making the sale, raising capital, or reaching your full potential lies in your ability to embrace and nurture your creative potential.
In our fist-fighting business climate, we’re faced with unprecedented challenges. The stakes are higher than ever, but so is the opportunity. Dispelling the myths, and then harnessing your own creativity can be the difference-maker for you and your company.