Research on the topic of creativity in the workplace seems to converge on the same conclusion: creativity leads to productivity. I think we could all agree that increased productivity generally leads to increased profitability. That seems like a winning formula, doesn't it? More creativity = more productivity = more profitability. Raise your hand if you want more of that!
So here's the million dollar question for you to contemplate, if we know creativity leads to profitability, why don't put more time and energy into making sure it happens in our businesses?
Why Creativity Should Be One of Your Top Priorities
It's interesting to try to reconcile our collective hand-raising in favor of more profitability with research that says that 61 percent of executives don’t actually see their companies as creative. Apparently we know it, but we haven't actually implemented it in any meaningful way. Like so many other things that we see as a growth opportunity, creativity takes a backburner to more pressing issues that feel more imminently important to the health of our business. Today, we want to propose that creativity is one of the top things you should be concerned about. Here's why.
Innovation is at the forefront of every produce leader's mind...innovation in new varieties, planting, crop management, harvesting, handling and processing, packaging, transportation, inventory management, sales systems, marketing strategies just to name a FEW. How can we serve the interests of our stakeholders, employees, customers, and consumers better year after year? That takes innovation. And here's my point.
Innovation requires creativity.
The State of Small Businesses in America 2016 by Babson College found that:
- 35% are engaged in research and development in a new product or service.
- 46% are in the process of launching a new product or service.
- 62% are improving the quality of an existing product or service.
I would guess that for fresh produce companies in 2021, those percentages are higher. COVID-19 might have made us hit the pause button on a few things, but it also made us hit the accelerator on a lot of things we didn't foresee prioritizing.
How Executives are Starting to Think About Creativity in the Workplace
- 60% of CEO’s polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity. Source
- In a study conducted by IBM of 1,500 CEOs, it was determined that creativity is the number one factor for future business success, above discipline, integrity, and vision. Source
- 82% percent of executives surveyed agree that companies benefit from creativity. Among those benefits include increased revenue and greater market share. Source
We also came across this interesting comparison by the World Economic Forum showing where creativity ranked in terms of desired employee skillsets in 2015 vs 2020 - up from #10 to #3 in the list. It's also interesting to note that Complex Problem Solving and Critical Thinking ranked in the #1 and #2 position are also a form of creativity in and of themselves.
As a whole, business leaders are recognizing the importance of outside the box thinking to push our teams and businesses forward. No longer is the last decade's success story a good indicator of what will propel us through the next decade.
We love outside-the-box thinking at DMA. If your marketing is stuck and you need a new burst of creativity to help take you to the next milestone, we would love to help!