Creativity: The New Competitive Advantage for Businesses Today

The Rising Demand for Creativity at Top Businesses Today

Over the last couple of years, top companies have shifted their mindset about creativity and its value. It’s now clear that creativity drives business success today, and brands who want to stay ahead, foster innovation, and stand out in a competitive marketplace need creativity to fuel their business forward.

As a result, creative people are more in demand than ever before. However, what it means to be creative is hard to define. It’s a wide spectrum. People stay creative and approach creativity in unique ways. And being consistently creative is no easy task – even for the most creatively inclined people in any industry.

We believe part of staying creative — staying imaginative, asking questions, taking risks, having vision, saying something new — is staying inspired. However, finding daily inspiration is difficult.

As a fine artist working in a branding agency, relying on daily inspiration is a necessity — both at work and in my personal projects. Starting a new painting or creative undertaking takes a certain type of mindset, and staying committed to a creative lifestyle allows my work to keep evolving. Here’s how.

Conquering Fear

Many artists spend a lot of time feeling afraid that they won’t find the inspiration they need. This often makes the act of creating feel daunting. I believe there is a balance to how much fear is the right amount. Personally, I need fear to push me forward and drive my energy, but I’ve found too much fear can also limit my creativity. It’s scary to stare at a blank page or an empty canvas. The immensity of the white space feels like it might just suck you in sometimes. It makes you question: are you adequate? No matter how intimidating these natural feelings of fear can be, it’s important that we accept them as a natural reaction to creating something new. We can’t negate fear, but instead need to accept it and use it to fuel our creative energy. That’s where courage comes in.

Practicing Courage

You have to be brave if you want to produce something new. Ideas won’t transform into realities without courage. Part of being an artist is striving to create something different – something that doesn’t yet exist, something you can claim as your own — while also creating something that is accessible to the people you want to relate to your art.

This simply isn’t possible without the willingness to escape our comfort zones and take a risk on ourselves. Inspiration and true creativity stem from experimentation, imagination, exploration, and questioning. Being experimental and questioning established norms and the way you see things or do things isn’t always easy, but it is always rewarding. When we really take risks, we can move forward.

Commit to Perseverance

To keep moving forward and continue to cultivate creativity, perseverance and commitment are key. It’s one thing to have ideas – it’s another to see them through. Creating is an entirely involved process. You can’t be half in, half out. It requires full commitment if you want your ideas to come to life. And though the outcome won’t always be what you envisioned, the process is always valuable.

So commit to living a life that is less routine and more curiosity-driven. Understand that by observing, cataloguing, and pulling from your personal experiences, your inspiration will flourish. I believe the notion that inspiration will “just arrive” holds people back from their greatest achievements. Picasso once said, “When the muse finds you, let her find you working.” Don’t get caught up in the romanticism of creativity. Instead, work hard and act on ideas.

Bring Some Faith

While you constantly work at it, you also have to have faith in the creative process. Trust that through practice new realities can be born. Stay informed about the world and the happenings surrounding us. Pay attention to everything that heightens your senses. News stories, poetry, art, books, movies, sounds, scents, and the patterns of people are great sources of inspiration. We must act on the ideas that appear in order to take them past imagination and into creation. And don’t take things so seriously. If an idea hits a wall, step back and work on something else. Come back to the project only after giving yourself the chance to look on it with a fresh set of eyes and thoughts.

Anyone is Creative

The notion that only certain people have what it takes to be creative needs to be squashed. If we allow ourselves to be open to the inspirational process, so many new and exciting things can happen. And this doesn’t only apply to art. Every industry, business, and calling requires creativity.

Businesses today are worried more than ever about how to stand out and say something different. Industries are crowded with competition. People are constantly trying to find new approaches to learned practices. Talent is never secured. More work, innovation, creativity, curiosity, and inspiration is being demanded in every realm. Fostering creativity – in whatever sphere – will open new doors, create unique possibilities, and unlock hidden capacities as long as you are willing to take risks, be open to suggestions, and are ready to be courageous. Creativity will give your business the competitive advantage it needs in 2017.

Keep posted to hear more from of our team about what keeps us inspired and driven.

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy and design agency.

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