Creativity in business is the ability to come up with new thoughts, ideas and ways to solve problems in new and imaginative manner. For some professions, as there are science, marketing, research and development as well as the arts, creativity is essential. Well-guided creativity may often lead to innovation.
Even though the ability to think creatively is in large part inborn, there exist a number of concrete possibilities and techniques which serve to support and nourish creative thinking. According to the American psychologist Robert Sternberg who spent years studying creativity, it is a given for people who actively want it. Sternberg defined twelve basic approaches which evoke creativity and which people can train individually:
- Try to define the problem differently – persistently try to think of a new angle and a new view on things. This will not be easy and will not bear instantaneous results, but don’t give up.
- Try to analyse your own ideas – think them through and be not afraid to play with them.
- Present your ideas – if you have an interesting thought, do not be afraid to discuss it with somebody who you trust.
- Try to understand knowledge in context – consider connections, look for relationships and links between different problems, issues and topics. Ask, what the problem resembles and if it is connected with something else.
- Overcome obstacles – don’t let failures or problems discourage you. If at first you don’t succeed, try again!
- Accept acceptable risks – don’t be afraid of calculated risks, after all, this is not a life/death situation.
- Be willing and eager to change – you’ ll find a strong motivation within yourself to be creative. Do want to be creative, to improve!
- Believe in yourself – accept yourself the way you are! The ideas will come in the end.
- Consider ambiguity – don’t be afraid and give up if there are several possibilities in the game. Patiently think them all through.
- Look for your personal interest and likes – concentrate on what you are interested in and what you enjoy. Here lies your best bet for success.
- Make time for creative work – learn how to reserve time for creativity. To be creative takes time, ideas and thoughts don’t come immediately.
- Tolerate your mistakes – nothing will happen if you make a mistake. Creative work requires to sometimes make mistakes and to be stuck in a dead end once in a while. If a mistake occurs, try it again, differently.