Creative Thinkers change the game. I dare say that they are the catalyst for most change in any business. Thinking outside the box, thinking into the future, thinking of creative solutions to confounding issues, these are all the work of a Creative Thinker.
Gallup has named Creative Thinker as one of the TEN entrepreneurial talents that must be present for a business to grow and be sustained over the long term.
As a reminder here’s the rest of the list.
- Entrepreneurial Talents – Introduction
- Business Focus
- Creative Thinker
Here’s How Gallup Defines the Creative-Thinker Talent
Creative Thinker – People who are especially talented in the Creative Thinker talent have a curious intellect that helps them constantly imagine new products, services and solutions. They are quick learners who explore various options and consider novel solutions as they anticipate the future needs of their customers.
Set your business apart from the other guys through your talent as a Creative Thinker. Tweak a service of a product so that you’re the only game in town. Be different. Let the Creative-Thinker in you transform ideas into business.
Differentiation brought to market by the Creative Thinker commands a higher profit margin. A Creative-Thinker establishes a brand and gains market share.
Are You a Creative Thinker?
- Are you always looking for new and innovative solutions to bring to the market?
- Is your mind typically full of new and different ways of doing things?
- Do you imagine past the confines of today’s reality?
- Are you open to trying something new and inventive?
- Can you think of more than one way to solve a problem?
- Do people refer to you as curious?
- Do you learn quickly?
- Do you see creativity as a way to add value to your business?
- How would you describe your abilities as a Creative Thinker?
- Do you know any others who you’d consider Creative Thinkers?
- How do you deal with the Creative Thinker in you? Do you act on your ideas?
Personal Application[guestpost]When I started my last company, in the electronics recycling industry I knew nothing about recycling. You wouldn’t have been able to fill a thimble with my know-how in that industry. But, I’ve never been afraid of that. I never considered it a limiting belief.
My Creative Thinker took over. I tried to figure out what my competition was doing in the marketplace. When I did, I began to think of ways that we could improve, innovate and differentiate.
I did two things that really set us apart from the competition. First I bought a 24 ft dock-truck, then went out and found a 75 kW generator on Craigslist. I bought a shredder that was capable of turning hard drives into tiny little chunks of metal. We put it all together and hit the road.
When we picked up computers and servers, we would, for a nice fee, shred the customer’s hard drives right in front of their very eyes. Zero chance of data-breach. BAM, we were in the “peace of mind” business. None of our competitors had even thought of doing this.
In the electronic scrap game, business it is won and lost by the pound. Bring in a server, separate the metals and sell them as commodities. Every recycler does the same thing and their revenues fluctuate as commodity prices rise and fall.
So I began thinking… Computer memory was worth $12 per pound and it took roughly 20 memory sticks to make up one pound. What if some of these memory sticks were still valuable to computer users? BAM! We were in the re-seller business.
The first year, selling on eBay added over $100K to my top line revenue. In year two, we got out Microsoft Certification to re-sell Windows OS. We began to build computers and resell them. Year two brought in over $350k in additional revenue.
Let the Creative Thinker in you run wild a bit. It’ll make your accountant smile more.[/guestpost]
Low on Creative Thinker Talent?
- That’s easy. Some of the greatest ideas I’ve seen in business came from customer service reps, technicians and shipping and receiving clerks. As the business owner all you have to do is ask them. You don’t have to always be the Creative Thinker in your organization. Cultivate it and reward it, you’ll be astonished at the results.
- Do you mastermind? What a great way to cultivate new ideas. Two heads are better than one. Join or create a mastermind group. The group can either meet in person or virtually. Find folks that are sharper than you and ask them if they would be interested in putting together a group of like-minded go-getters for accountability and Creative Thinking.
- For ideas about starting a mastermind group, do what everyone else does… Google it.
To Do’s for the Non Creative-Thinker:
- Let your mind create. Write your ideas down. Study options and cultivate them.
- Ask others for their input. Start with those who work with or for you.
- Join or start a mastermind.
- Just check out once in a while. Take time for yourself. Take time to just relax and think.
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