We hear a lot about our logical left brain versus the artistic right brain. Creativity is thought to live in our right brain, while our left is believed to be our more factual side. Is it true that entrepreneurs and business leaders need both? Problem solving and creativity certainly go hand-in-hand, so how do entrepreneurs and leaders demonstrate this? Let’s look at the importance of creativity in leadership and entrepreneurship, and what it looks like in practice.
Create an Entrepreneurial Vision
Entrepreneurship is the action that leads to the creation of a business. According to Francesco Perticarari, there are three pillars of entrepreneurship: vision, due diligence, and resilience. The first pillar, vision, is all about thinking big and thinking differently. Creativity allows for a vision to form in an entrepreneur’s mind. It’s “the big idea” that gets them motivated to start their own business. It’s also what propels them to imagine the possibilities and success they can achieve.
Every strong business has a strong leader, or team of leaders, behind it. Leaders are important because they have big ideas, and follow through on commitment and dedication. Entrepreneurs are inherent leaders because they lead themselves through these difficult processes of building a business, and are adaptable in the face of adversity. From the start, they are forced to be strategic and creative about best practices, problem-solving, and what their company stands for. When most people hear creativity, an association with artwork is made. While the art factor isn’t always true, the work is. It takes practice, and it doesn’t come to everyone naturally. When leaders and entrepreneurs exercise their right brain, it sets them up for success.
Brainstorming sessions are a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Take ten minutes to write (by hand or electronically) as many ideas as you can about an initiative you want to implement for your business. Whether it’s suggestions for your next meeting, a list of things that are working well, or ones that aren’t, brainstorming should benefit entrepreneurs and leaders across all disciplines. These ideas don’t have to be complete sentences or thoughts, just enough to get new ideas out there. Depending on your industry, 10 minutes may not be enough time, so don’t limit yourself. Incorporating creative thinking into a company’s culture will benefit everyone involved, not just the leaders.
Once their vision is set, following through on due diligence comes next, according to Perticarari. Taking action and being prepared can make a significant difference when it comes to leadership. For example, the company Gopuff encourages its employees to rate company culture and leadership online. The advantage that companies have by doing this is remaining transparent with current and future employees about the creative solutions that their company’s leadership takes to flourish. Other companies like HubSpot and Peloton are winning awards for “Best Leadership Teams.” They are showing, not just telling, their due diligence, and getting recognition for it. This display of creativity shows dedication to their brand and preparedness for what may come ahead, making them effective leaders.
Failure, at one point or another, is inevitable. No matter how much preparation is done or how long they’ve been in their industry, there will always be unforeseen obstacles that business leaders and entrepreneurs will face. Over the past two years, businesses small and large took hits to their forward progress, forcing them to shift and adapt to difficulties in their industries. That is why creativity in leadership is so crucial. After a potential challenge, leaders will recognize what’s working (and what is not) to bounce back. Leaders must be creative and flexible to be successful.
Creativity among leaders and entrepreneurs is important and shouldn’t be overlooked or viewed as a skill that not everyone can work on. Entrepreneurs, leaders, and their businesses will benefit from fostering creativity in the workplace.