Fifty Shades Of Creativity

Being creative is one of those traits that everyone talks about, but most people lack. It’s one of those rare qualities which make a person stand out among the masses. It is a feature which can and has in the past, propelled a person to greater heights. Similarly, a creative attribute can be the critical factor in driving business, a company or even a nation with unbelievable success.
Creativity comes in different forms and ways. It may be an array of matters such as an one’s actions, way of thinking, and the approach to something and so on. While there is no limit to creativity, there are common traits among the most creative people in the world. While creativity is far from formulaic, inventive individuals have certain traits:

There is a hidden connection between creativity and risky. Quite often being creative requires a person or an organization to take risks that others have not taken. It’s this risk-taking nature of a person which makes them try the new. And the belief that they have in themselves eventually is rewarded. Todd Yellin, Vice President of Product, Netflix took the risk of introducing voice dubbing in foreign shows on Netflix. While voice dubbing had a bad rep before, it worked well for Netflix, and Mr. Yelling’s risk was rewarded.

Quite often people look at short-term objectives and goals and assess their success based on achieving those. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, most creative people will look at the bigger picture. Sometimes collaborating with your competitors can end up giving you more benefits than just outperforming them. Creative people will see the long-term benefits and make alliances that can prove beneficial for themselves and their business.

Sometimes the most creative thing to do is not do anything. A lot of successful people have proved to be creative just by observing others. They sit for long hours to watch what others do, see how they react and then put together something that has proven to be a brilliant idea. Executive Vice President of CVS Health, Helena Foulkes did something similar. She observed how people’s behavior towards medical care changed from being “sick care to self-care.” She noticed how people were more proactive when it comes to their health. And thus she managed to put together services out of the CVS app which made health care more convenient.

Arguably one of the most common traits among creative people is a competitive nature that they possess. They are always looking to stay one step ahead of their nearest competitors and do not want to be overtaken by their rivals. Hence, they are always thinking and coming up with new ways to make themselves and their business better. It is their competitive nature which acts as a driving force for making them creative.

Simply put, one cannot be creative without having the vision for something new, something greater and something better. The creative juices don’t flow in one’s brain unless there is an external force acting upon it. This force is greatly aided if one has a vision of doing something unique. Think of it as magic; one cannot just conjure up something if they do not have an idea of what they are making.

Being creative does not always have to mean coming up with something new. It can be found in people who are willing to adapt. Adaptability is one trait that all creative people have. Take Shailesh Prakash for example. As the Chief Information Officer of The Washington Post, he figured that he had to adapt the business to ensure the newspaper content was still relevant in the world of digital content. By adapting to new trends, he has made sure that the Post is delivered to everyone and it is still one of the largest newspapers in the country.

Diversification can be the mirror image of creativity. By diversifying one’s investments and interests, a person is ensuring that he or she may never be stuck to one project. Diversifying also requires learning different things for different purposes, and this is where the creative sparks fly in. One can simply use the knowledge learned from one project and apply it to another one; outside-of-the-box thinking is what drives a person a step closer to success.

It’s no secret that to try something new one has to take risks, [as mentioned earlier]. But to take risks, one needs to have a great amount of courage as well. Imagine a scenario where one person is willing to put all at stake just to prove something right. If the plan fails, then everything that person has done will crumble down. That is what it means to be unique and take risks. And that is the kind of courage one needs to have to be creative.

Sometimes all it needs to be creative is to take a step back and think simplistically. Quite often we end up creating things that are too complex for the regular people. Simplifying everything, so that usage rates increase is the smartest and one of the most creative things anyone can come up with. That is something Jacqueline Reses, Capital Lead, Square, believes too. Square will only allow loans to people in the amount that these people can repay back. They take in all variables into consideration and come up with a digit that is suited to meet certain scenarios. It helps simplify the process for Square’s consumers and allows them to focus more on their business.

All businesses around the world have the same end goal, serve the people. So the best way to serve them would be to think about them, listen to them and cater to their needs. While coming up with new brilliant flashy ideas do showcase one’s creativity, one can also come up with solutions just by listening to what the people want. It is in fact a very common trait among the smart and creative people.

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