Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Creativity and Consistency

Seems like everywhere I turn these days people are talking about creativity and innovation.  Actually, that is exciting because I'm hearing it from what you would probably think of as the most unlikely organizations to ever be considered creative or innovative.  However, the interesting thing to me is that the most creative and innovative people and organizations I know are also extremely consistent.  Unfortunately, the old line organizations I run into often think that to be creative they somehow have to become less consistent.  It's an unfortunate stereotype that creativity = disorganized, scatter-brained, all over the place thinking.  Real creativity is about making connections that others don't make.  It's about seeing patterns that others don't see.  In a way its being blind to some of the rules that have no good answer to the question, "Why?" and creating new ways that are more relevant

We live in so many boxes (stereotypes, culture, industry, peers, income, government, etc.) that consistent/continuous creativity and innovation are almost impossible.  That's why I believe that while creativity and innovation are important, there are key ingredients that must be in place to help people and organizations survive the inevitable periods where they just aren't creative or innovative.  The key ingredients are "trusted relationships."  Without trusted relationships your product or service will begin to be perceived as having less value and viewed as more of a commodity.  Which is the beginning of a spiral that makes it more and more difficult to be creative and innovative.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that being creative and innovative are great things but don't take your eyes off the impact that developing consistency and forging relationships built on mutual trust can have. They are the foundation, the platform that give creativity and innovation the power to change the ways we think, feel and act.