Driving our own creativity while we're also keeping an eye on the bottom line can be a tricky battle of wills and pressures. This is a challenge under the best of circumstances and even more important when we are thrown into an uncertain business situation with increased risk. Those are the times that sometimes our very survival will rely on increased creativity and grace under pressure.
A recent article in Harvard Business Review reports that "professionals whose primary responsibilities include innovating, designing, and problem solving—the creative class—make up a third of the U.S. workforce and take home nearly half of all wages and salaries." Half of all wages and salaries. Creativity pays and, whether you're in finance working through complex transactions or managing a team of disparate volunteers, your ability to innovate and create solutions is key to the success of your project, your team and your own bottom line.
Even when we fail, creativity is an important component of how to assess why things did not work out. Inc. Magazine recently highlighted efforts by Google and others to develop a "post mortem" process that helps team members as questions like,
- What went well?
- What didn't go well?
- Where did we get lucky?
- What can we do differently next time?
In recent weeks here at the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce we've been going through similar processes to assess what we're doing, why we're doing it and how we can improve our processes the next time we step into a project.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, to improve is to change; to perfect is to change often, creatively.