One thing is certain:
To survive, to thrive in business in the twenty-first century you need to be a potent idea generator.
Whether you're in advertising, high finance, technology, funeral management, or any other field, every big idea that has ever helped your industry was the result of creative thinking. Every solution to every real problem has come from a new idea. Every triumph over every challenge and every gain from every opportunity has been the result of an individual stretching her or his gray matter to a new and valuable place.
Great ideas are the root of just about everything new. Every new product, service improvement, cost savings, and efficiency idea has come from human creativeness. Every market-conquering, competition-smashing concept behind every advancement is the result of someone thinking of something that has not been thought of before.
The vital, urgent need for constant creative thinking is as pervasive in industry today as computer terminals and interminable meetings.
Creative thinking is no longer the domain of a chosen few or something companies do only at their annual planning meetings or in brainstorming sessions. Creative thinking is something that high-functioning people at leading companies do constantly, because there is always an opportunity for improvement. Today, with the pace of change constantly increasing in business, there is always a need to maintain a competitive advantage. Companies and individuals both need to stay on top of their game.
So where do creative ideas come from? Well . . . people. The freshest, biggest ideas come from leaders in your own industry and other industries. Ideas also come from the customers and users of your goods or services. And if your company is a player to any degree and you're doing your job, creative ideas come from you. (If you're a manager doing your job, they also come from your people.)
Now is the time to ask yourself, "What am I doing to enable myself and/or my people to generate the vital business-building ideas that fuel my company's, my clients', and our customers' success?"
Take a second to let that question sink in.
Now answer honestly, "What are you doing, now, to become a better idea generator?"
If you're not making a concerted effort to value, master, and inspire creative thinking and improve your skill set in this area, you may find yourself losing out to the competition.
If you don't actively grease the skids of innovation and better handle the rapidity and magnitude of change today, you could be cheating yourself and your employer out of an incredible resource. You could be holding back your company and your career.
Fresh ideas are the lubrication for growth and success in business. Whether it's creative marketing ideas, breakthrough advertising ideas, customer service ideas, or fresh thinking in a thousand other areas, the most successful people in business are making themselves active players in this high-stakes, high-value game.
You're reading this book because you want to improve yourself in this area. I can help you. As a professional creative thinking coach I work with thousands of people in dozens of industry segments annually to help them improve their understanding and skills in this critical
area. My experience tells me that it's helpful early on in this self-development process to take a quick personal inventory of your current state of creativeness.
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