Let’s get creative

Would you describe yourself as “creative”? On most days, I wouldn’t. I’m pretty type A, can’t draw and have no eye for colors. I am a pretty good writer, but beyond that, I usually say there isn’t another creative bone in my body.

Which is why it’s pretty lucky I got to hear a great speaker on Thursday.

Last week I attended the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) annual conference and got to hear from Josh Linkner, a best-selling author/entrepreneur/venture capitalist (and fellow Michigander!), on the topic of creativity in business. Here’s some of my biggest takeaways from his presentation:

  • I’m not the only one. Josh referenced a university study which surveyed kindergarteners and found that 98% described themselves as creative. The same study then surveyed high school seniors and found that only 2% describe themselves as such. That means that roughly 98% of adults (including me) don’t think they are creative – but that doesn’t mean they’re right.
  • Creativity is a hot commodity. When 1500 CEOs from across 32 countries were polled, creativity was the single-most important leadership attribute cited. That means, even though most adults don’t feel creative, it’s something that more people should embrace to succeed.
  • Your title doesn’t define your level of creativity. Most people probably wouldn’t describe an accountant as creative. Those people must have never heard of Enron.
  • Everyone can embrace their inner creativity. Josh led a breakout session after his keynote address and he showed us some interactive ways to drive creative ideas when helping our clients. I’ll share my favorites in a later blog post, but suffice it to say that I’m looking forward to trying some of these out with my co-workers!

Every now and then I need a reminder that creativity isn’t limited to being artistic, and Josh’s message hit at just the right time. Do you have any other tricks for improving creativity or stepping outside the norm?

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