The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.
Suppressing creativity puts a lid on your profits. If your
business needs a profit makeover, put creativity on your list of
Change happens. New information emerges. It is
impossible to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.
Creativity is a valuable resource to 1) meet your objectives or 2)
solve your problems
Good companies create to meet the demands of the time.
Great companies have a culture that supports creative excellence
that gives them a competitive edge in any economic climate.
The culture of a small, professional company that I worked
with demonstrates how stifling creativity can have devastating
consequences, for example. As new employees joined the
company, they were discouraged from offering any ideas about
anything. How could they possibly add anything of value
because they did not fully understand the business and had not
been around long enough to contribute any value to the
organization? As a result, new talent with fresh ideas did not
stay very long. The CEO surrounded himself with people who
checked their creativity at the door…..for a time. Ultimately, the
organization closed its doors as the top-notch professionals
found other avenues for their talents and creativity.
Side effects of stymied creativity include:
• Issues or problems persist to extract resources
• Situations escalate past the point of no return
• Lackluster performance is acceptable
• Employee talent lies fallow
• Profits, customer service and employee retention suffer
• Opportunities are lost
It is easy to understand the basis for a low level of creativity
in organizations. First, it is efficient to develop habits to
accomplish routine tasks. Imagine the amount of time and mental
energy required to find a creative solution every time you drove
to your office. Second, our education system does little to foster
creativity. According to some experts, our current education
system squelches creativity. Visit www.TED.com to see Sir
Ken Robinson make the case for creativity in our education
system. Creativity produces "original ideas that have value."
Your Solution to Lift the Lid on Profits with Creativity:
1. Acknowledge that everyone is creative. It is part of the
2. Be the role model for using creativity to solve problems and
3. Allow things to get a little messy during the creative
process. Confusion and ambiguity are appropriate.
4. Expect mistakes and errors because they are an integral
part of the creative process.
5. Accept more than one right answer. It is true. There is
more than one way to skin a cat.
6. Outlaw logic in pursuit of creative ideas. Instructions for
getting out of the box are on the outside of the box.
7. Embrace the outlandish. Can you recall when working from
home was a preposterous idea?
8. Have fun and be playful. I visited an assisted living facility
recently. I was puzzled when the CEO greeted me wearing his
pajamas, robe and slippers. To my delight, I learned it was PJ
Day. I concluded they had found a creative way to relate to the
9. Suppress surprise when you find ideas in weird places.
Remember what Alice discovered when she fell down the rabbit
Logic plays a critical role in the implementation of your
“original idea that has value.” Logic is not part of the creative
process. Taking your valuable idea from creation to
implementation for profits is a both/and process. You need both
creativity and logic to thrive. Lift the lid on your profits with
creativity. Make the profits real with logic, focus, accountability
and action. The rhythm of prosperity is creativity and logic. Are
you ready to dance?
© 2010 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved
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Ann Elliott is a leadership strategist and founder of The Berkana Company LLC.
She is the author of "Recovery Ready: 27 CEOs Reveal Their Strategies," and
“What Successful Women Know about Leadership.” As an experienced facilitator,
trainer, and business consultant, she helps entrepreneurs and business owners
build a thriving business from the inside out. Ann speaks professionally at
conferences, workshops and corporate retreats. To schedule her for your event,
contact: Contact Ann at www.berkanacompany.com