I read an article about skills you need to succeed at anything. Intended for businesses, it talked about communication and listening, decision-making, personal (time) management, analytical skills, and creative thinking – to name just a few.
Okay, improving many of these skills will certainly make a difference and contribute to your success — in business and in life. But creativity in how we think and solve problems? Well, it got me thinking…
When things go wrong or problems arise, how do you resolve them and what do you do? Ever had anyone tell you to get creative or think out of the box? And therein lies the problem.
By definition, creativity means you have the ability to create new or original ideas or methods. But most of us don’t consider ourselves creative unless we are a designer, artist or craft person. So messages that promote ‘creative thinking’ can fall flat – and the recipient feels doomed before they start.
Innovation Vs. Creativity
Here’s a better approach. Think innovation. By definition, innovation is the introduction of new things or methods. Subtle difference – introducing new methods versus creating them. Innovation does not require originality or uniqueness that is often associated with creativity. It’s simply a matter of continuously looking for better ways to do what you do – and you can use what others have already perfected.
The good news is we all have the ability to be innovative and we don’t need to go at it alone. Make it part of your culture and get others involved too. It’s important if you want to achieve sustainable success in business.
Where to Apply Innovation
So where should you apply innovation in your business? The answer is simple – everywhere. From marketing and sales to customer support, service delivery and team building, all areas of your business will benefit from a little innovative thinking and action!
A process to stay connected with customers to improve retention rates is innovative.
Finding new markets for your products or services is innovative.
A marketing campaign that consistently delivers quality leads is innovative.
Applying technology to a current system — for improved efficiency — is innovative.
Re-packaging products and services to improve margins and sales is innovative.
A system for consistently hiring quality people is innovative.
So don’t get hung up on creativity, but do make innovation a definite priority. It will pay off on the bottom line and may actually make what you do a lot more fun!
More Profit Building Ideas…
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