When many of us hear the word “creativity,” we think of artistic pursuits. However, creativity is more than that – and it’s important for entrepreneurs to cultivate.
Creativity is the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and to find solutions. It’s often associated with pairing and combining ideas or concepts to discover unique or new associations or connections. Creativity means merging previously separate ideas, concepts or forms of thought to create something new.
Why is creativity important for entrepreneurs?
Still not convinced creativity has a place in business? Check out these examples.
In 1941 George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer returned from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps. He noticed the burrs that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, he examined the burrs under a microscope. There, he noted the hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as animal fur. He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion and invented one of the world’s most popular products – Velcro.
In 1974, Art Fry was in church when he came up with the perfect application for his friend Spencer Silver’s new adhesive. As the legend goes, Fry sang in his church choir on weekends and he used slips of paper to mark the pages of his hymnal. When the book was opened, however, the makeshift bookmarks often moved around or fell out altogether. On that day in church, it occurred to him that the adhesive could be a great bookmark. If it could be coated on paper, Silver’s adhesive would hold a bookmark in place without damaging the page. And Post-It Notes were born.
Both inventors in these examples merged previously distinct forms to create a new combination which had tremendous commercial application — they used their creativity to see everyday things in new and useful ways.
Want to learn how to be more creative? Check out our blog post with ways to kick-start creativity.