Is being creative necessary in your business?

Many people thing creativity is relevant only to certain types of business. I wrote about this some time ago,  see How is creativity related to your business? when I explained that you need creativity when you are developing new products, new systems or anything new. In fact, whenever you are working on rather than in your business. I also said we all have a creative side, which we need to develop to succeed in business.

You need to be intentionally creative

It is easy to think creativity just happens. Ideas fall from the sky. If not…they don’t. Perhaps you are creative sometimes. I used to think like that. Now I have learned that you can manage this aspect of your life, just like any other. You can keep on producing new ideas, new products etc like our most successful business leaders. This means understanding the creative process, and especially to understand the different phases of that process.

A mediaeval monk being creative as he produces a manuscript.

A mediaeval monk being creative as he produces a manuscript.

Why are the phases so important?

You can blame yourself for apparent failure simply because you were not on the phase you thought you were on. They require different approaches. Perhaps even different physical environments. It is also important to go through them in the right order. You can go back as often as you need, but never try to jump ahead missing a phase out.

So what are the phases of the creative process?
  1. Preparation – research, getting facts, studying previous work
  2. Incubation – letting the ideas develop in your subconscious
  3. Inspiration – the lightbulb moment
  4. Evaluation – prioritising
  5. Elaboration – working out the details
  6. Review – costs, benefits, risks, opportunities
  7. Implementation

I will be writing again about each of these phases. For now, just acknowledge that they exist and make a decision to work your way through each of them in turn for every creative project you are planning. Each one can be at a different phase. In fact, it is better if they are.