How Creativity Facilitates Value For Innovation And Market Intelligence

Published on:

No way creativity can be learned? Wrong! It can and should be.This article explains the relevance of creativity for market intelligence and innovation to enhance business performance.

Many believe that being creative is some kind of quality of very few people, and even that creativity like intelligence is something one can’t develop. Some others can’t see that creativity is the common thread that facilitates value within and beyond disciplines and that isn’t something particular of designers and artists.

Intelligence & Creativity Can Be Developed

Let me tell you something, these are all myths! I can tell you with all certainty because life has shown me all the opposite. When I was in high school I dreamed of being an architect, and engineer or a designer. I thought I wasn’t good enough for any of these since I was average in mathematics and I also wasn’t the best at drawing. But the real problem here was that didn’t believe I was good or could be good at it because sadly, we are usually taught at school that we are unable to be the best at anything we want and get to love even the most hated things. All this changed once I decided to transfer from a traditional education system to a school called Colegio Fontán. This system showed me that intelligence could be actually developed with a magical ingredient called “doing”. Yes, doing! By doing, experiencing and discovering things by myself, I could be able to develop not only intelligence but also the passion for things I thought I wasn’t good enough at.

Intelligence isn’t more than the ability to gather information and transform it into knowledge while effectively making use of it. Information only becomes knowledge when internalized by people through reflection on doing. Why? Human beings learn differently: 20% by listening, 50% by seeing and 80% by doing, and through learning environments based on the experiential learning approach, they can increase their learning capacity by as much as 80%.

So at this school, I went from being an average student to being the best, while discovering I could get to love even those subjects I once abhorred. I realized I was actually good at many things and that I was able to do and be whatever and whoever I wanted in my life. After this experience, I decided to study product design engineering where I found out that this wasn’t only true for being more intelligent but also more creative. I became totally passionate about interdisciplinary and collaborative group work and creativity methods after having an aha moment while writing my undergraduate thesis. That’s why, I enrolled some time later in a master’s program in psycho-creativity (i.e., the psychology of creativity) since I wanted to have a deeper understanding of these aha moments and find out how I could use them in different aspects of my life.

Today, I am not only an engineer, specialized in creativity and international management who is working in market intelligence at one of the largest market research companies in the world, but also an entrepreneurial spirit who dreams of one day transforming people’s lives with her own creations.

Creativity Goes A Long Way In Market Intelligence

And this is where I come back to the first paragraph when I said that many people can’t see that creativity is actually the common thread that facilitates value within and beyond disciplines. Every time, I tell people I studied the psychology of creativity they can’t understand how a design engineer working in market intelligence can make use of this. The answer is simple: In the same way, IDEO found some years ago that design thinking could be actually useful across areas and industries. Being creative, or thinking as many designers and artists do, is an attitude about yourself and what surrounds you. It is also a decision to come out of your comfort zone. It is digging deep into your brain and mind in order to become more aware of your experiences while finding those exclusive aspects of yourself. Once this connection with your unique self is achieved, you will have also encountered your inner creative self. It will be the responsible part for you to connect your experiences in such a particular way (aka the creative process) that could even have the potential to transform paradigms and realities (aka the creative product). The only thing you have to do is to challenge it, in order for it to serve as a foundation to find unique solutions to those problems or needs around you.

So, this is what I learned: I learned that no matter what you do for a living, as long as you are more aware of what happens inside you and around you, as well as of the importance of constantly exposing yourself to different experiences that challenge your mind, your beliefs, the way you see things, etc., you have the inner ability to become creative, or what it is the same to me, to become more aware of your uniqueness and its infinite capabilities.

Creativity is the ability to go beyond the intelligence frame and capitalize on seemingly random connections of concepts. However, to be creative you don’t really need to be more intelligent than the average person. You simply need to train your experience-awareness ability, reflect more often on the experiences you have acquired and be open to collaboration. Yes! Collaboration! It can foster creativity and innovative thinking!

The Benefit Of Creativity For Startups & Corporates

Startups and organizations, in general, can highly benefit from implementing a creativity and collaborative-based culture. You can train people’s inner creative power and also potentiate it by fostering the exchange of ideas and collaborative problem-solving within and across teams. Allow your employees to find their uniqueness by offering the possibility to constantly experiment on new things (e.g., working spaces, by giving them the freedom to work remotely, and/or by creating different environments and working areas inside the company). In other words, let your employees be, and find those places that define them and where they can explore their whole potential. Encourage extracurricular activities like get together retreats, where you get to know different facets and abilities of people, as well as different perspectives and ways of doing things. Give your employees the possibility to rotate every once in a while through different positions and even locations around the company (e.g., if you have different subsidiaries), where they can experience the work of others, thus coming out of their comfort zones, and possibly finding solutions to problems they had or even exploring new inner talents that were untapped. And finally, collaborate not only inside, but also outside your company (e.g., clients, partners, competitors). This will broaden the vision about your business and its infinite possibilities, which unfortunately usually get blurry due to strong organizational boundaries (for more see Open Innovation).

Despite what kind of team or culture you belong to, in today’s fast evolving world even the most operative and individualistic ones need to solve problems, improve processes, be more efficient and effective, and more importantly, be more unique. Therefore, people and organizations should become more aware of the importance of training their inner creative and collaborative potential, because in the end what makes companies different from others is the uniqueness of their employees and its capability to take advantage of this.

So once again, for those who have ever asked me why I am so passionate about the psychology of creativity like if this was completely unrelated to what I do for a living, let me tell you something: “this has been so far the wisest decision I have ever made and what makes me today a big blue fish within the large red ocean of competition.”

 

____________

Sharing is caring!

Millennials Are To Rule The Workforce By 2020 [Infographic]

According to Park Communications, experts predict that by 2020, millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce with Gen Z making up 24%. That equates to more than half the entire workforce population!