As Bill Moyer, a journalist and political commentator, says, “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” As an artist turned entrepreneur, I know that creativity has helped me find the marvelous, the innovative and the unconventional.
I’m intrigued by other creatives in business too . . . how they utilize their talent, skill and artistic nature to impact their companies and professional careers. As a sculptor turned entrepreneur, and the now CEO of Globe Runner, an SEO and digital marketing firm, I have learned five key concepts about creativity that can help any company thrive.
Creative people are curious people and that curiosity helps us embrace new and untested ideas. It’s my curiosity that drives me to explore different ways of doing business. For example, testing creative contract ideas (e.g., performance-based, revenue-sharing, etc.) to find the best fit for my client.
Engage with Creative Peers
Surrounding ourselves with creatives who share our standards is another key element. One of the best things you can do for your business is hire great people and encourage them to be creative. When interviewing potential employees, I look for what I think are the hallmarks of creativity: curiosity, which is often reflected in a desire to learn new things, and passion, whether it’s personal or work-related.
Creativity can certainly enhance a business. But creatives may also have to make decisions that can go entirely against their artistic sensibilities. As artists, we are trained to understand that while not all artwork is good, there is some merit to each effort. We learn to see the good in something (or someone) whether it’s actually there or not. I’ve realized there is no space for this notion in business. I have to discover what actually works, instead.
Meet Challenges with Creativity
Every business leader can learn from their mistakes. As creatives, we have extra tools that can help us problem solve. For instance, when I address a business problem, I approach it as I would an art project. I first turn my challenge into a formal problem, so that I know exactly what I am trying to solve or the idea I want to encapsulate. Then I begin to eliminate all assumptions.
For example, if I can stop assuming that a painting has to be created with paint, I might see that the solution actually involves another medium. If I don’t assume that a customer service issue should be “fixed” with more staff training, I might be able to see that a better solution may be to change the employee-customer interaction process.
Make ‘Creative’ Time
Running a business takes time and energy. It can be hard to make space for creativity. I admit that I find it tough to take the time to recharge my creative battery. But it’s worth the effort. After all, our creativity is the force behind our successful businesses; the way we can find the marvelous.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Eric McGehearty is the CEO of Globe Runner, a top-performing, SEO and digital marketing firm. Eric, who received his master’s degree from UNT, is also the founder of BabySafeTravel.com, an advisor to non-profits, an advocate for people with learning disabilities and an award-winning sculptor. Though Eric has achieved success in many fields, the role he cherishes most is that of husband and father to his wife and four children. Connect with @GlobeRunnerSEO on Twitter.
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