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Creativity and artistry in business and why it’s important

Thinking Out of The Box by Svilen Milev Most things can be copied. It’s not long before your latest innovations are repackaged and enhanced by your competitors. Your new commercial model in a couple of years is a market norm. Pricing, packaging, positioning and the same supply chain are all accessible. Even your people are effectively buyable commodities unless you set a mission above profit that engages with people as your true ‘why’.

So what does this mean? Every competitive advantage is short-lived? You can never differentiate in your market? Everything is commoditisable?

Constant Mentor’s ‘why’ is clear about the things that will define your future success, and that the only sustainable competitive advantage you and your business can now achieve is the innovation and creativity of you and your teams – driven by continual learning and change.

But how does this work if we’ve just said that innovations can be copied?

This is where creativity and artistry come in. Yes, things can be copied: they always have and always will be. Indeed, we argue here at MyNeuroCoach that being a fast second mover in your industry is a good strategy. However, you can’t copy the essential qualities of creativity and artistry. The better you understand what creativity and artistry are, how they work and the environment and conditions in which to foster them and cause them to flourish, the better you will recognise how they drive the new practical realities/ necessities for leadership:

  1. To innovate with the effectiveness and market impact of the fast second mover
  2. To capture and retain the substantial initial value of the new commercial model before it becomes market norm
  3. To engage in a mission above profit that requires creativity and artistry: essentially locking-in your pursuit of creativity and artistry in business

Definitions, conditions and environment

Creativity is the act of creating something new that has value to people.

Artistry is best first described by what it does. Hilary Austen, in Artistry Unleashed, explains how artistry can help achieve the following powerful capabilities:

  • make effective progress with no clear plan or destination in view
  • achieve excellence without sacrificing creativity
  • invest passion even as you apply reason and intelligence

Austen goes on to describe the conditions that makes artistry possible:

– enigmatic problems: problems that push us to the edge of what we know.
– qualitative intelligence: the art of your discipline that “explicitly teaches the executive functions of ‘feeling,’ ‘judgement,’ ‘sense,’ ‘proportion,’ ‘balance,’ and ‘appropriateness'”
– cognitive emotions: surprise, curiosity, fascination, attentiveness
– downstream learning (mastering knowledge that has already been developed by others) and upstream learning (new knowledge from your own first hand experience)
– your personal knowledge system

When you apply creativity and artistry you operate in a place which is challenging for most business owners and leaders. It is however the very nature of this challenging place that generates the value and competitive advantage to be had in developing them within a business.

About Si Conroy

Family man, founder/CEO, investor & CrossFitting ultra runner. Businesses apply cognitive science to goal setting & goal achievement for leaders. Love life.

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