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  • Mark Zanders

Dream and Create

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

The views portrayed in this Dream and Create blog are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and are current as of December 18th, 2020. While all material is deemed to be reliable, accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

If the mantra for the current business climate is truly innovate or die, why do so many companies seem to look over creativity. When I reflect upon the organizations that I have worked on and studied over the past 20 years, there can be no doubt: creativity gets killed much more often than it gets supported. For the most part, this isn’t because managers have a vendetta against creativity. Creativity is undermined unintentionally and often overlooked to maximize business productivity. We tend to associate creativity with the arts and to think of it as the expression of highly original ideas.

At AFZA Capital, we encourage entrepreneurs to think big and continue the pursuit to solve problems. In business, originality isn’t enough. To be creative, an idea must also be appropriate – useful and actionable. Creativity must somehow influence the way business gets done – by improving product, for instance, or by opening up a new way to approach a process.

I am a huge believer in the Pareto Principle or also known as the 80/20 Rule. The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes (the “vital few”). When asking leaders that I know well if there is any place that they did not want to see creativity in their companies and roughly 80% answered with Accounting. Creativity, they seem to believe, belongs primarily in marketing and R&D. Deciding how much time and money to give a team or project is a judgment call that can either support or kills creativity. However, it should be noted that the leaders reviewed expressed their passion about influencing creativity.

To foster an innovative workplace, you need to pay attention to your team’s expertise, creative- thinking skills, and motivation. Of these three, employees’ motivation is the most potent lever a manager can use to boost creativity and company’s future success.

Three components of creativity: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation.

Expertise is, in a word, knowledge- technical, procedural, and intellectual.

Creative thinking is the ability to look at things differently and find new ways of solving problems.

Motivation is the reason for people's actions, willingness and goals. Motivation is derived from the word motive which is defined as a need that requires satisfaction. These needs could be wants or desires that are acquired through influence of culture, society, lifestyle, etc. or generally innate.

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