Join Nancy Napier for an in-depth discussion in this video Creativity's role in high-performance organizations, part of Building Creative Organizations.
Think of the most creative and innovative organizations you know, like Apple or Google, Samsung or Ikea. They're also some of the highest performing organizations in the world. So, what's the connection between creativity and performance? It comes from trying to stay ahead of what everyone else is doing. In other words, these firms not only do things differently, they often do things better. In fact, when best practices in your field are documented, they become normal practices.
So, the only way to get better is to do things differently from others. This is creativity. Let's talk first though about why creativity is so important. Several years ago, I started seeing some trends that fascinated me. Several global innovation indices showed that some countries like the United States were slipping, and other areas like Europe and China were gaining. I found reports about countries that were building creativity into their schools and companies.
Places I never really thought of as being creative. Like China and Japan? Mexico and Germany? But they were doing some remarkable things. So, what was going on here? It turns out that as other countries were becoming systematic about building creativity into their schools and companies, the US wasn't changing as fast. Because innovation has been so prevalent in America for so many years, the urgency to change didn't appear to be so strong.
But that seems to be changing all over the world. Individuals and companies, cities and countries are all trying to do things differently to get better. Bottom line, if you keep doing what you've been doing, that may not be enough anymore. Many firms have learned how to encourage and use creativity. And you can, too. Look at the changes Amazon has made over the years. From selling books to appliances, electronic readers to movies, or look at Google.
It may have started with search, but now it helps us map our way to a new location, and communicate with others in ways we never could have thought of, even 5 years ago. Paypal has moved from a basic online payment for ebay to a cloud based system, so, you can shop and pay from anywhere. The key to the mall, doing things differently to get better. So, let's start with you. How do you do things differently? What about your company? What are they doing differently to improve performance? If you're a lynda.com member, then you have access to the exercise files for this course.
I've provided a worksheet where you can brainstorm examples of companies you know and like. Companies that do things differently. Think about what sets them apart from their competition. What makes those companies so great? Why do they stand out? Going through this exercise can help you start noticing how other organization do things differently. And this can help to spark some ideas for your own organization.