Creativity often gets a bad rap when it comes to business because people see being creative as wild, chaotic and risky. These are the stereotypes that come with not understanding the role of creativity in taking an idea from a mere thought or notion to a fully realised product, service or small enterprise.
I came across a quote from the famous drawing teacher Betty Edwards in her “The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, “We often describe creative intelligence as “the ability to see things clearly”. When starting out with a new business idea that has potential, you can only get to see whether it’s going to be viable when you learn to see it better with greater precision and fine discrimination. What this means is that creative intelligence is actually the ability to perceive things with greater clarity.
Let’s take an example. You may have come up with a “creative” idea for a product or service but at the beginning that’s all it is – an idea, concept or notion. A would-be entrepreneur needs to clearly think about the idea and see how they can bring it to life in the form of a prototype. The first prototype itself may not be attractive to potential customers so more work is required on refining the prototype or initial sample until it gets better and better. This step in itself will provide greater clarity so that the would-be entrepreneur comes closer to offering something that customers find attractive and want, need or desire.
More refinement will possibly occur when you go about testing your prototype or sample in the marketplace with a sample of potential customers. You may find, for example that customers don’t like particular features of what you intend offering. This will require careful thought and possibly further brainstorming to develop alternatives that are better than your first conception. You may need to go through a few iterations before you land up with something that appeals to potential customers.
You will also get more clarity when you come up with a business plan for your small business idea. You most likely will need to do some market research, decide how are you going to distribute the product or service, how you will advertise it, what prices you will charge, how you will differentiate your product from competitors and which channels you will use to sell your product or service. All these require different approaches and you need to find the right combination for your product or service which gives it the best possible advantage in the marketplace.
Creativity does involve coming up with new ideas through idea generation methods, observation or listening. Often new products or services are created through combining of existing ideas to come up with an entirely new product. This is what we could call the generative side of creativity.
The entrepreneur is constantly on the lookout for opportunity which in itself is another form of creative thinking. Such thinking requires seeing patterns or gaps in patterns that others may not see clearly or quick enough.
Yet creative thinking also involves seeing opportunities and the realisation with increasing levels of clarity. If you want greater clarity about generating ideas or developing your most promising ideas, then put your name down for “Breakthrough Ideas”. This resource will help you identify opportunities or make the most of those that you already have to generate more income for yourself in this economy.