The edge of creativity in business
By Mandisa-Ntloko Petersen, Chief Marketing Officer at BCX
We are all capable of being creative. With the use of the correct tools, our innate skills can be enhanced and harnessed.”
These are the words of Dr Monica Garfield from Bentley University when analysing the impact of technology on creativity and how the two forces combined can translate into innovative thinking within the organisation. It’s a sentiment echoed by Harvard Business, the institution highlighting how it is creativity that facilitates growth and allows employees and organisations to adapt with agility and resilience to uncertainty and complexity, both within the business and in the world as a whole.
Creative thinking, technology and people are the next big thing in business and together, they are set to shape success in 2022. Not individually. Not as singular components but as an ecosystem that blends the potential of people within a culture of creativity that leverages next-generation technology to enable and empower. This is key and is what Deloitte defines as ‘investing in creative potential’, where creativity has to be provided with the right ingredients for it to thrive.
These ingredients vary depending on the organisation but tend to fit within four categories: processes, culture, tools and performance. ‘Process’ is how well creative endeavours are integrated within the business. Is it easy for people to brainstorm, share new ideas, explore alternative ways of working, to be different? Is it acceptable for the culture to grow around the ideas of intrapreneurship – where the people within the business are dedicated to building and growing it? Culture and process often walk hand in hand. Together they are the keys to allowing employees to feel as if their contributions have value.
Tools are aligned with processes and technology. What solutions, digital or otherwise, empower people to engage, collaborate and share information? Investing in technology that enables people to connect and communicate more effectively makes it significantly easier for them to do their jobs, and go beyond, into innovation and ideation. Technology offers multiple touchpoints of enablement that change conversations to ‘what if?’. What if we moved this approach, changed this service, or resolved this customer expectation in a new way?
This ‘What if’ translates to a reimagining of the business and drives growth, changes customer expectations, and evolves services and solutions. It also reimagines how your people engage with your business as a whole.
A company willing to redefine and reimagine its creative thinking, culture and technology is more likely to disrupt and innovate. It is also more likely to retain its employees, show consistent growth, and find fresh ways of exploring new markets. Instead of viewing uncertainty and complexity with concern, a company powered by creativity, which also puts humans at the centre of its philosophy, will embrace these challenges with ambition and a sense of opportunity. As McKinsey’s Award Creativity Score (ACS) proves, creativity generates business value, better financial performance and innovation.
Measuring your business creativity may not be a science and capturing that elusive dragon of truly inspirational innovation may be rare. Still, neither will be found in a business that neglects the potential of the human, creativity and technology in its future.