Three Ways To Use Business Creativity To Break New Ground
Peter Drucker noted in the 60s that any organization has only two core functions: Innovation and marketing. Logically, being continually creative is table stakes to doing good business.
Yet a culture of creativity isn’t common, especially for companies that have seen success. Innovation, the business word for creativity, requires experimentation, which carries the risk of failure. The risk of failure creates tension and uneasiness.
The more a company becomes successful, the less likely they are to experiment, take risks, and innovate. This risk aversion encourages teams to retreat to risk-avoidant behavior, which stagnates true creativity.
That’s why every company needs to overcome the fear of failure and strive to keep creativity alive.
1. Create a Fear-Free Culture
When people are afraid to be wrong, they’ll opt for safety over creative surges.
Over time, this causes ruts of iterative or derived product or service improvements rather than innovative leaps. Encourage your team to take risks to make it OK to be creative.
2. Build Creative Trust
Trusting others doesn’t mean no one will make mistakes. It means that you trust each other to fix or resolve the mistakes.
Fear can be created quickly, but trust needs to be earned over time. We discover that trust pays dividends by supporting teammates as they take risks and make mistakes. Creativity is free to expand when your team knows that you trust them to fix any issues that arise.
3. Permission to Fail (Sometimes)
Sometimes, innovation fails. For most people, failure is loaded with emotional baggage. The stigma of failure as a sign of weakness is ingrained in most of us from an early age.
When we reframe failure as a learning opportunity, we free ourselves from the grips of fear.
By reframing mistake-making as breaking new ground, changing our thinking, challenging ourselves, and pushing ourselves to undiscovered places, we make room for creative leaps.
Your past product hits, while worth celebrating, are likely to be something other than what creates your next big product or service win. Teams that are fear-free, trusting, and which permit themselves to make mistakes fail forward into innovation.
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