It’s no secret that creativity is an essential attribute to business success. Look back in history and you’ll see that the change-makers that stand out are those that have broken the rules and reinvented the game. Put simply, it’s about thinking differently.
A creative mind is one that excels at problem-solving, generating new ideas, exploring opportunities, and taking risks (in the words of Richard Branson – ‘screw it, let’s do it’). With these traits, companies and individuals who supercharge innovation, can get ahead of industry trends and dream up fresh ways of doing things.
But just how crucial is creativity to your business or career? We asked 500 business owners from a variety of sectors to tell us their thoughts.
Why being creative pays off
Creativity in the workplace goes well beyond the ability to create a fetching PowerPoint presentation. It plays a role in pretty much every aspect of business, with almost 45% of bosses we asked seeing a strong link between creativity and positive business results as a whole.
If you’re looking for employment, creativity can be one of the most important qualities you bring to the table. In fact, more than a third of Britain’s bosses told us they hire employees based on their creative nature.
How can creativity help in business?
Over 68% of the bosses we asked strongly believe that creative people are able to problem-solve in their careers.
We spoke to Pete Mosley, a creative business advisor, author and contributor to Cambridge University’s Queens Young Leaders programme, who said: “Businesses that adopt a more creative approach tend to stand out in the market place and get a better share of the business,” he told us: “Creativity is what differentiates companies from each other and tends to be a large part of how people choose where and who they buy from.”
It makes sense – whether it’s thinking of a brand new strategy or a clever way to stay ahead of the competition, creative minds – and therefore creative businesses – are inventive ones. Those who think in a conventional fashion simply cannot see new solutions.
Creating a creative culture
Encouraging more creativity in today’s work culture is good for business – 79% of Britain’s bosses think so, according to our survey – as does Pete Mosley.
“People want to work in a stimulating environment where creativity is valued,” he says. “They need to know that their ideas are likely to be listened to – if not, they get bored and demotivated and the company suffers in the long run.”
To harness this creativity, almost 81% of business owners believe fostering a creative environment is highly important for employees – with popular methods including bringing new brainstorm methods to the office, allowing regular screen breaks and encouraging employees to spend time outdoors.
Creativity across the sectors
Typical creative roles lean towards fields like design and marketing, but our research showed a wider demand for creative types in less obvious sectors. These included:
- Financial services
78% of bosses in finance sectors believe there is a strong correlation between creativity and blooming business results. When making promotions, the same percentage of bosses consider creativity an important factor.
- Professional services
74% of professional service bosses saw great importance in fostering creative environments for employees. Creativity was also of high importance when looking at promotions, according to almost 80% of bosses.
82% of engineering leaders think encouraging employees to take a creative approach to their roles is important.
- Not-for-profit organisations
Nearly half of bosses from non-profit organisations will hire someone with creativity over analytical skills.
Over a third of business owners we asked believe that the concept of creativity only coming from ‘creative types’ was a complete myth. Unconventional thinking is a huge driving force for business and a huge personal strength when looking for employment, regardless of the industry.
UPDATE: Our competition has now closed, the winners of our competition are:
- Raj Patel
- Valerie Cuthbert
- Lesley Abbott
Our winners will be contacted shortly, thanks for taking part!