IMPROVING CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

Unleashing the Innovative Mindset to Outthink the Competition

n numerous recent surveys, leaders around the globe have proclaimed innovation as one of their top priorities. They know that complex new problems, new competitors and rapid market shifts are requiring more creative solutions to stay ahead.

As more research emerges showing that innovation fuels long-term growth, the talk has only gotten louder.

Leaders deliver speech after speech calling for a fresh commitment to new ideas. Creativity, they keep telling us, is one of the most important factors for their future success.

This isn’t really a new phenomenon. For years leaders have talked about emulating the Steve Jobs’s of the world, the new technology innovators, those who come up with clever solutions or new products that transform entire markets and industries.

But is it all just talk?

In spite of all this conversation, most companies still haven’t been successful in making creativity a core leadership skill or in putting innovation on the front burner. The short-term needs, immediate priorities, and pressure from shareholders, customers and investors continue to win out over the long-term mindset that’s essential for driving successful innovation.

At the same time, many leaders struggle with really getting their arms around what innovation and creativity are and how to create a culture that supports them. With all the attention these concepts are receiving in business, myths still abound about the innovative process. The upshot is that even where investments are being made, in too many instances, they’re not paying off.

This is more than just an ROI issue, though. These companies are losing out on the true competitive benefits of innovation. And just as significantly, the full creative brainpower, ideas and talents of their employees is being wasted in the process.

THE BRAIN IS TEH SOURCE OF CREATIVITY

Ultimately, no matter what the “talk” is, if the climate doesn’t support creative and innovative thinking, the results will continue to disappoint.

Whether you refer to Design Thinking, lateral thinking or “out-of-the box” thinking, creativity is, among other things, the ability to challenge assumptions, recognize patterns, see in new ways, make connections, take risks and seize upon a chance. All of these essential aspects of creativity come from the brain.

Because the brain is the source of creativity, we can’t unleash the creative and innovative potential in the organization without first recognizing what we’re actually asking people to do in terms of their thinking. Just as essential, we have to recognize that everybody can access creative thinking, but they will approach it in their own unique way.

Our more than 30 years of global research on the brain and thinking has demonstrated that every person in your organization has access to thinking that can be applied to creativity and innovation. In fact, creative thinking that leads to innovative ideas is a Whole Brain® process. Yet much of this thinking”this powerful business asset”often lies dormant.

Truly innovative companies know that creativity can’t be the domain of a select few. The next groundbreaking idea or innovative breakthrough could come from marketing or product development, or it might come from finance or operations. To make innovation a priority in your organization, leaders have to understand and build the mindset for innovation across the enterprise, starting with themselves.

How Whole Brain® Thinking Drives Creativity and Innovation

With Whole Brain Creativity®, your organization can create a climate that supports ongoing innovation as an integral part of the business. Given the right tools and techniques, everyone has the ability to contribute to the organization’s creative output by:

  • Understanding how thinking preferences impact creativity and how people use creativity
  • Applying a proven creative process involving all four quadrants of the brain to foster creativity and manage ongoing implementation of ideas
  • Using creative thinking to solve everyday problems as well as complex challenges
  • Organizing Whole Brain® teams and going “diverse by design”
  • Generating new and different ideas that will have value for the business
  • Building the thinking agility to balance today’s priorities with the strategic, long-term view

Using a Whole Brain Creativity® process, people and teams will be able to improve not just idea generation but also problem identification, idea selection and execution, all essential for getting the business value from creative ideas.

For creativity and innovation to deliver, it has to be more than just “talk.” Whole Brain® Thinking puts it to work.

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