This is the ninth installment in our 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. This week: Creativity and Innovation.
We define Creativity and Innovation as creating new approaches, designs, processes, technologies and/or systems to achieve the desired result. At its core, it’s all about thinking outside of the box. Those skilled in Creativity and Innovation are able to come up with new ways of doing things and can see patterns not seen by others. They aren’t afraid to test the status quo to find new methods or approaches.
Creativity and Innovation is more important in some roles than in others. For instance, you don’t want your finance team getting “creative” with the books, but almost every role can benefit from the fresh perspective every now and then. Creativity and Innovation brings a new light to old tasks. It keeps things exciting and current. Many of the so called unicorn companies that are so successful today started with a founder who was just trying to disrupt the status quo.
Being able to take a step back and reexamine how things are done can lead to a wide variety of benefits. You might find that an old system is holding back your company or that the usual way of working with customers is no longer the most efficient method. Without being willing to question current systems and processes you can get stuck in rut and never get out.
A quick way to start improving your Creativity & Innovation is to force yourself to come up with at least three possibilities when faced with a problem or a decision. Take the time to dream a little and don’t quash any ideas too soon. Thinking of three different options, even if you still end up going with the first one you thought of, will force you to think outside the box, even just a little. This will give you more options and therefore help you make better choices.
If you would like to learn more ways to improve your Creativity and Innovation skills, download our Creativity and Innovation Rx Suite here.