The Business of Creativity: Can the two be equals?

When you think about business and creativity, it creates a bit of a conundrum; somewhat of a chicken and egg scenario. We often find ourselves asking: “Which comes...

When you think about business and creativity, it creates a bit of a conundrum; somewhat of a chicken and egg scenario. We often find ourselves asking: “Which comes first?”

For instance,

1. You want to start or grow your business, but you need a good idea, or;

2. You have tons of great ideas, but no clue how to monetize them.

For many entrepreneurs, the lifeline of businesses is pure creativity and innovation. For others in certain industries, creativity is not held in such high esteem.

However, which is more important? Should one come before the other?

Or can the two be equals?

Like many of you, I too have mixed feelings. For most it is unresolved, only left to grace the glossy pages of marketing collateral. Yet, I believe the discussion holds more weight than we realize.

I believe in a more perfect union – where both business and creativity dare to co-exist.

The Life Giving Power of Creativity in Business

Creativity is a gift.

In it’s most simplistic form, creativity is the use of the imagination or original ideas.

Creativity is also an essential component of startup life and entrepreneurship culture.

Not convinced? Think back to when you first started a business or how you devised to grow your early-stage company. From the onset you have to do more with less and take what’s tired and make it tantalizing. You had to be creative.

But the problem with creativity is the limits we impose on it. For example, “there’s this common perception among managers that some people are creative, and most aren’t. That’s just not true. As a leader, you don’t want to ghettoize creativity; you want everyone in your organization producing novel and useful ideas, including your financial people,” according to Teresa Amabile, head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School.

According to leadership coach Marcia Zidle, “Leadership, especially in times of change, depends increasingly on the ability of managers, professionals (entrepreneurs) and even front line workers to think and do things differently.” In other words — get creative.

If we limit creativity to a few, we diminish it’s potential. Remember: all business stems from a mere seed of an imaginative idea.

However, creativity alone is not enough.

Business, the Common Multiplier

While creativity births an idea, when added, the element of business is life sustaining.

Without the injection of business, a creative enterprise that seeks to be bigger than itself will soon reside on life support. Because truth be told, without giving business it’s rightful place you might as well consider yourself a hobbyist — and not a small business owner.


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