In one of my training workshops recently, I had the opportunity to chat with one of the participants. He was curious as to how "Creativity" can used in Business and Life. He has this mindset that "creativity" is only about being in the "Creative Industries" and doing stuff like painting, sculpturing, stage performances etc.
It was, in fact, a genuine question. He was not alone. True to what most people see, creativity is highly synonymous with the visual and performing arts. While creativity is highly required for that, however, the elements of creativity can be applied in ALL other aspects of life, not just the arts. Like creativity guru, Frederik Haren said, "...there is no such thing as creative industries".
Creativity is not just about being in the "creative expression" mode (which I shared in my "Because I'm Introvert" book). We need creativity to live. It is an important skill to have. I call creativity - a form of way of life.
Lets look at some of the areas in life as to why there is a need for one to be creative.
1) Creativity solves problems
You see, we face with challenges and problems everyday. When face with such adversities, humans have two options - to fight (solve) or to run away. Of course, when we choose to run away, the problems / challenges will "go away" temporarily, but will surface again in future.
But if we choose to fight and solve the problems, we might need to know as to how solve them. This is where creativity comes in handy. Creativity is essentially the ability to put two or more different things together to solve a problem. It is also called as Creative-Thinking or Creative Problem Solving.
In creative problem solving, the main aim is to address the challenges and solve the problems through a process. Why is there a need for a process? Because that is how our brain is wired. Our brain has been designed to connect things (Will share more on this in one of the ways on how to be creative).
For example, I frequently face students turning up late for classes in the polytechnic where I teach weekly . How do we then solve that problem of late-coming? Let's look at another example - you are about to make a presentation but just moments before the presentation starts, there's blackout. How to we respond? Another example; in the current trend, there's a rise in electrical bike accidents. How do we then curb this problem?
These are just examples of problems that we need to solve. With creative problem solving, these problems can be easily addressed.
2) Creativity opens doors for career progression and personal development
When we are able to solve challenges and problems regularly, that ability will turn into "creativity habits". Our brain will be "re-wired" to think of new ways for ourselves to be better and to move forward. When we embrace that habit, it opens up more doors for career progression and personal development. We start to think along these lines:
a) How do we save more and earn more for future?
b) How do we avoid repetitive works like data entry; and produce more results?
c) How can we spend more quality time with the family?
And when we start to think along these lines, it will pave new ways of doing things. It gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishments.
The handphone is a good example of progression. Those were the days when we used dial-up to make calls. Then It progressed into buttons. Then, our favourite "heavy brick-looking-like" handphone. The trend then moved into smaller-built handphone, then moved into smart phones. The trend continues.
3) Creativity encourages positive-thinking, optimism and initiative
Creative thinking will transform you from being passive and into a more active role. You will start to feel "responsible" in whatever you are doing and enjoy taking initiatives; thus keep coming up with new ways of doing things. You will then go all out to get them being implemented. In the process, it exudes your positive energy and optimism to get the job done.
Failure is not in your dictionary. Famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan spoke in an interview with NDTV, he shared his late father's advice. His father said, "Success in the worst teacher in the world. It makes you feel invincible but you cannot pass down success to other people....but FAILURE is a fantastic teacher. It teaches you to work harder and be better."
Similar thinking went to Thomas Edision, the inventor of light bulb. He said that his light bulb idea was his 10,000th idea. But his earlier 9,999 ideas were not failures, it's just that he found 9999 different ways of NOT inventing a light bulb. In fact, he patented some of his 9,999 ideas.
In soccer, there's a famous saying by the Brazilians, "England invented the soccer, but we PERFECTED it." Because the Brazilians are so passionate and optimism, they found new ways to create and perfect the art of playing soccer (think "Samba"), they are one of the successful nations in that sport.
How about you? Do you find other reasons and the needs to be creative?
Towards your continued success,
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
~ Hazriq Idrus is a Business Creativity and Speaking Strategist. He is the author of "The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored two other books. Hazriq founded The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd with a mission to empower operational leaders and line-managers in achieving professional and organisational excellence through his signature high-energy, transformational theatre-based & experiential corporate training programmes.