You’ve probably heard or even said yourself, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Well, no-one has a creative bone because our bones are not what dictate our creativity. It is our brain … how we think, how we perceive things, and then how we put it all together. When someone says, “Think outside the box,” it is important to note that we can all think, it is just a matter of how we think. And it is how we think that gets our creative juices flowing in a multitude of ways. Many are creative and don’t even know it.
As a business owner and manager, if you are stereotyping or assuming that only certain people or certain job functions are creative, you are doing yourself and your company a disservice. To truly unleash and inspire creativity within your company, you must acknowledge and reward both the expected and the unexpected creative thinking that is taking place.
The Expected and Valued
The “expected and valued” creators are those who appear to create something out of nothing. They include:
Artist: The artist is the most obvious creative thinker and the one first to come to mind. From creative writing to creating a visual masterpiece for the eyes to see, these people think in terms that show their creativity through original visual or verbal expressions.
Innovator: The innovator is all about ideas and more ideas. They are continuously thinking about new concepts that could apply to your business or taking an existing service or product and making it even more valuable to the company.
Inventor: The inventor is the functional and technical side of creativity where patents are born and flourish. If you want the next great widget or a better mouse trap, this is the person for the job.
The Unexpected and Undervalued
The “unexpected and undervalued” creators are adept at taking what already exists and making it better. They include:
Aesthetician: The “aesthetician” is all about the details and having things in order in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while logical to the way work needs to be done. Methodical in their approach, it is all about appearances from an organizational standpoint and making sure the business presents a favorable impression by crossing its T’s and dotting its I’s.
Resourcerer: The “resourcerer” is a wizard at getting things done and seems to always know where or how to get what is needed at any given moment. Their resourcefulness and access to information seems to be endless. When a challenge is faced, they reach beyond the confines of their area or the company’s abilities into the vast network they have accumulated for possible solutions. They know how to take what can be made available and then put it to work for your business.
Ingeneer: The “ingeneer” is the MacGyver in your business. Give him or her a challenge with something that needs to be fixed, programmed, or revamped and they will put their ingenuity to task to achieve a better end result. They know how to take what is already there and make it work in ways never considered before. They have a level of tenacity that will continually help your business operate and function more effectively.
Efficienado: The “efficienado” lives and breathes better ways of doing things which ultimately result in the company being more efficient. They are process and system-oriented with that twist of creativity that can see options and possibilities that not only make sense, but work better than what may have been in place before.
As a business owner, one of your greatest strategic advantages can be the creative energy and enthusiasm you and your people bring to your business. Once you recognize and harness the full spectrum of creativity from within, the possibilities are endless to where this can lead your company.
Sherré DeMao is President and Chief Marketeer of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR, Inc., a full-service marketing and public relations firm based in Denver, NC. Her column seeks to help entrepreneurs and business owners become more savvy marketers and strategists. DeMao, who was named among the 2007 Top 50 Enterprising Women in the Country by Enterprising Women Magazine, can be reached at 704.483.2941 or email@example.com.