When asked where he gets his ideas, artist Austin Kleon honestly answered, “I steal them.”
Many people may think that creativity is about coming up with original ideas. However, it turns out that creativity is really about making connections between existing ideas. This is really exciting, because it means creativity seems less scary: we can all connect things that already exist.
Steve Jobs agreed with this thought on creativity when he said: “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.”
Research has shown that intelligence is something that comes from physical connections in the brain. Several brain regions, and the connections between them, make the most important contribution to general intelligence.
Therefore, creativity comes from practice: observing things, seeing patterns, thinking of new ways of doing things and thus connecting the dots.
Richard and Maurice McDonald, the original founders of the McDonald’s fast food chain, started the company as a barbecue restaurant in 1940. Eight years later they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles. Business was good but growth was limited using that model. Then came in Ray Kroc in 1955. He saw the limitations of the business and came up with a different business model that would allow for unlimited growth: the franchise. Today McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants.
Ray Kroc could see the potential that the McDonald brothers could not see. He thought creatively, connecting ideas to create something way bigger. Our economic environment requires creativity if one wants to survive the harsh conditions and grow.
Creative thinking requires you to use the brain to work out solutions to business problems or to achieve goals. Once you have identified the problem clearly, ask “What else is the problem?” Never be satisfied with a single definition. Continually expand your definition of the problem and you expand your view of all the different ways it can be solved.
How are you using creativity in your business today? Please email me your feedback.
Have a great day.
PS: Don’t miss the May BusinessLink Networking Breakfast meeting on Friday 29 May 2015 from 0830 to 1045 at the Terrace Restaurant, Barbours Department Store, 1st / Jason Moyo, Harare.
Cost is $10 ($6 for BusinessLink magazine subscribers.) You can book at our office or call Christine on 0772 854 301 or 0777 774 007.
The first ten people to book and pay by Thursday 28th May will get a free subscription to BusinessLink digital magazine for a year, valued at $10.