Creativity at the small town workplace

No matter what anyone tells you, creativity is the key to competitive advantage and diversity is the key to creativity. This has proven even more important today.

Failure and adjustment are the most important aspects of company growth. Fear of failure kills growth. The fear of failure in a small town mostly comes from what everyone else will think. Letting go of running your business based on what everyone else will think is the key to creative thought. You have to tell yourself that change and innovation involves taking risks and you are prepared to fail from time to time.

To help your business gain a creative, competitive edge, you must be a courageous enough leader to take a risk. The true leader will even seek out failure. Ok, I can hear all the readers screaming, “Everything has to be perfect, guys!” Failure and adjustment are the most important aspects of company growth. Fear of failure kills growth. The fear of failure in a small town mostly comes from what everyone else will think. Letting go of running your business based on what everyone else will think is the key to creative thought. You have to tell yourself that change and innovation involve taking risks and you are prepared to fail from time to time. When things change people get upset and the catalyst becomes the focus of negativity. A good leader has to take the heat and stand by creative growth no matter what happens. The negative people will soon forget about you and move on to their next issue, so don’t give them power over your decision making.
After you have decided that gaining the creative, competitive edge is worth the challenge, begin to examine the diversity in your company. Consider first your workforce. If you simply load your staff with people just like yourself, you are limiting your creative options and giving your more diversified competitors the upper hand. What if everyone in your company was just like you? All employees working together in polite harmony all the time. Sound good? Maybe it shouldn’t. Consider this: When everyone agrees and there’s no dissent, you only have, in essence, one employee because everyone is doing and thinking the same thing and waiting in unison for your next command. It is actually beneficial to have employees with different experiences and backgrounds who can bring new ideas to the table. Diversity makes it easier for a company to move forward with fewer work hours, less research, and less expenditure.

Another way to enrich your business, with diversity, is by examining (and possibly changing) your company’s workplace environment. According to recent studies in the American Marketing Association, open office spaces improve creativity. Open office plans encourage cross-pollination of ideas. The old school approach of hiding everything—including ideas—and everyone locked away in tiny offices is going, going, gone. Holding on to the traditional Monday morning meeting as a sole exchange of ideas will only make it easier on your more creative competitors. Be a creative champion at your workplace: Invest in stimulating colors and textures, add thought-enhancing props like chalkboards and comfortable, well-placed furnishings to encourage creative ideas. Everything adds up, and you need to stay competitive.

Remember: You have two choices to survive in this new economy. Your organization needs to cultivate its own creativity or be prepared to outsource. Take the path of least resistance and uniformity of opinion, and most opportunity will pass you by.

-Major Phineas Tom
Small town marketeer

 

You can read Major Tom’s “Big Business in Small Towns” blog at: www.workspace573.com

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