Every business owner or manager wants to keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of competitors. “Creative thinking — dreaming up new and unique ways of doing things — is obviously a part of that process,” notes Nicole Fallon of BusinessNewsDaily.
A study by Adobe and Forrester Consulting found that 82 percent of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. In fact, companies that actively foster creative thinking oftentimes outperform their competitors in revenue growth, market share and competitive leadership, according to the report.
Boland Jones, the founder and CEO of PGi, encourages creative thinking because it helps employees to see the bigger picture and leverage productive focus on issues with a deeper business impact.
“While the creative process can seem less productive than simply churning out work,” Jones says, “by ultimately transitioning those efforts to bigger-picture problems, workers’ productivity becomes more meaningful — and the business flourishes.
So how do we get those creative juices flowing? For a number of business leaders, the answer lies in the lens. For Allison Melnik, a consultant at PR 20/20, developing photography as a hobby taught her “to always think outside the box to uncover new ideas. It has also given me confidence, allowing my creativity to flourish.”
Eileen Richardson, CEO of DiaDan Holdings Ltd., also takes time to nurture her artistic side. The Nova Scotia based businesswoman says she finds satisfaction in creating art, mentioning also the value that comes from the fact that photographs allow people to see things they might not be able to experience in person.
Radio host Julie Burstein offers insights into how the process might work: “Modern life is full of distractions designed to take us away from the reality in front of us. Viewing images or reading articles of distant countries allow us to detach from our own reality.”
Burstein strongly believes that creativity can come out of a break in the everyday: “Our experiences can change us if we take the time and pay attention to the world around us. It seems simple, but in fact, it is something we often overlook. Creative ideas are around us, but they are only revealed by looking in a different way.”
Photographs are the universal language of our era, says Kathy Ryan, director of photography at The New York Times magazine. She argues that photographers – whether professional or amateur—can “distill the mayhem and beauty that surrounds us. They call our attention to the things we miss in our everyday lives and they call our attention to events and people at a great distance from our own patch of the universe.”
Such thinking can only help in the workplace, when coworkers are challenged to work alongside people from vastly different backgrounds or sell products to someone halfway around the world.
And it can increase focus: “I believe that creativity leads to productivity, provided that the workplace environment is developed and in a way that allows the two to peacefully co-exist,” adds PGi’s Jones.