Creativity Lifts the Lid on Profits

By Ann Elliott

The stone age didn’t end because they ran out of stones. Unknown Suppressing creativity puts a lid on your profits. If your business needs a profit makeover, put creativity on your list of “must haves.” 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. lightbulb 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 unnecessarily •    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 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 human condition. 2.    Be the role model for using creativity to solve problems and achieve objectives. 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 residents. 9.    Suppress surprise when you find ideas in weird places. Remember what Alice discovered when she fell down the rabbit hole. 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 Feel free to share this article.  Reprint permission is granted to broadcast or reprint.  Please give proper credit to the author. Include the following in its entirety. 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

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Ann Elliott

Ann Elliott, founder of The Berkana Company, excels at leadership strategy

An expert at helping business leaders enjoy more profits and improved productivity with less stress, she blends fun and excitement with executive coaching and training to yield results for her clients.

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