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Creativity... Is it Talent, Magic or a Skill ?

Last week during my Customer Experience Innovation webinar, I was introduced as being extremely creative… And that surprised me! Here's why.

When I was myself sitting on the school benches at HEC Montreal, I looked up to people in marketing and I found them to be so "cool", to a point where I was intimidated. I never saw myself as trendy, who had unbelievably creative ways to present, and even less as the one who succeeded in finding solutions that were out of the ordinary. The reality was, I didn't understand what creativity is.

One of the first questions I ask my students and people who take my training in innovation: Do you consider yourself to be a creative person?

Do you see yourself as a creative person?

The reality is that creativity is not a fixed trait, but rather an ability that can be developed (Amabile, 1996).

In my early years as a marketer, someone told me that to stimulate his creativity, he tried to eat something different every morning. He believes that eating the same peanut butter jelly toast is not the way to cultivate our creativity.

There are many ways to cultivate and stimulate this creativity ... For example, by monitoring trends, watching what the references in innovation are doing, listening to podcasts, going to conferences, 5@7, chatting with friends , etc. Most importantly, creativity comes first from understanding the situation.

The key elements of innovation: Newness and relevance!

“In business, innovation is something that is new or significantly improved, done by an enterprise to create added value either directly for the enterprise or indirectly for it customers. "

(Business Council of Australia 1993, p.3)

Again, that word I love, relevance! In order to be successful, an innovation must meet a need and must bring added value. The ability to innovate therefore depends on human understanding, on the context of the company's capabilities.

But still ... It's all well and good to have the information, but how do you translate it in order to extract the winning innovative idea?

This is where synthesis, conceptualization and the importance of making connections come in. The innovative idea will be one that responds to a need or an important motivation for our target audience and that we can meet with our abilities. The innovative idea can then become a competitive advantage if you alone have the ability to properly meet the target's need in the way you choose. All 3 are important to the delivery of your innovation.

The "cool factor"

In the past, I used to say that people in marketing have a "cool factor".

The "cool factor" is the perception I had of their ability to respond so well and so creatively to certain issues. It was intimidating, but in the end, it's not magic. These people work extremely hard to understand the contexts of their problem and have the capacity to draw good conclusions… Creative!

References :

Amabile, Teresa M., and Julianna Pillemer. "Perspectives on the

Social Psychology of Creativity." Journal of Creative Behavior 46, no. 1 (2012): 3–15.

Business council of Australia 1993. Managing the Innovating Enterprise. Melbourne, BCA.


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