Creativity. The very word perks up the ears of experienced executives who know they need to think creatively and surround themselves with others that do the same. Today’s market often values innovation over experience and navigating the waters of running a successful business has always required a good foundation in creative thinking.
Unfortunately, many myths about creativity are still commonly accepted as the truth. These myths cause people to limit themselves unnecessarily and their businesses ultimately suffer or fall short of their full potential because of it. What are these myths? Here are a few.
- “It’s in your genes.” No it’s not! Research has shown that qualities like confidence, the ability to work hard, and emotional balance are determining factors of creative output, and things like environment and interpersonal interactions can have a large effect as well. No correlation has been seen between genetics and creativity. Additionally, it has been shown that there are no “naturally creative” people. Environmental influences may have fostered the growth of an individual’s creative side, but that’s good news: it means you can deliberately create the same for yourself.
- “It’s all me!” An individual has great creativity, but no matter how creative the person, interaction with others provides the foundation for an entirely new level of creative output. Though great inventions are often attributed to one person, the fact is that they are almost always the product of multiple researchers and many interactions, culminating in one collective creation that could not have been done alone.
- “Let’s brainstorm.” Brainstorming, or throwing out every possible idea, may be useful in some situations. However, studies have shown that creativity thrives within constraints instead of being given the full realm of possibility (which can always open up after the initial idea has been generated). Opening up respectful criticism in group discussion increases creativity as well.
Creativity is one of the greatest assets of any entrepreneur. Take a good look at your beliefs about creativity and find out which ones are limiting you. Talking with others–especially those who have had success due to their creativity–can open doors you never thought were possible.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
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