Why do I need to be creative?

You may think you don’t need to be creative. But creativity can help you do a better job of what you do – whatever your job.

Who would think that stand-up-straight-and-stick-the-gut-in military needed to be creative? All they do is follow orders – or so we think. But the US military was one of the first modern organizations to realize that innovation could help them.

They organized an elite team to investigate innovative giants, as well as all creative problem solving methods and techniques. They then applied these creativity techniques to “NATO military, intelligence and political problems,” getting inventive solutions to new and old dilemmas.

But perhaps you think you don’t need to do a better job of what you do. Maybe you’re thinking, “Employers are having a hard time filling the positions they have in my job category. I’m sitting pretty – I don’t need to change. And besides, creativity is okay for strategy types like the military, or marketing people or – anyone but me.”

The economy is cyclic. It has its ups and downs. So are job vacancy rates. Right now you may be secure in your job. But will you be two years from now?

Doing a better job of what you do makes you look better to your supervisors. And it also makes you feel more fulfilled and satisfied. Those are two very good reasons for cultivating creativity in your job.

But what exactly is creativity?

According to Michael Michalko, one of the world’s leading experts in the field, creative people are those who come up with more ideas in a shorter space of time. They have more good ideas. But they also have more BAD ideas. The key is generating ideas quickly. Out of a wealth of ideas will spring some that better solve your problem in new and exciting ways.

Let’s look at this in another way – let’s draw a picture of creativity. Imagine two people, Joe Average and Cathy Creative. They work in the same department of a large telecommunications firm. And they both have problems they need to find a solution for.

Joe Average holds his idea gun and slowly moves towards his problem. He carefully takes aim and holds his breath. Then he squeezes the trigger. He hits, slightly off target. But he breathes a deep sigh of relief because he hit what he was aiming at. And he puts his idea gun away.

Cathy Creative has a idea machine gun. As soon as she sees the problem, she throws her machine gun in the direction of the target, presses the trigger, and sprays ideas all over the place. Some hit; some don’t. Some are far off target – actually hitting the ceiling and the floor. But ten are close to dead center.

Joe Average has one hit and it’s slightly off target. Cathy Creative has ten hits almost at the bulls-eye.

More ideas and better ideas – that’s something that can help any person in any job. After all, who doesn’t have problems to solve? Everyone benefits from being creative. And, fortunately, being creative or coming up with more ideas and better ideas is something YOU can learn.

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