Career

Think Creatively to Stand Out

How does creative thinking help you in business?  

I get asked all the time “Why do I need to worry about how creative my thinking is? Don’t I just need to do my job well?”

My return stare is usually a bit glassy eyed and blank – I’m working on that.

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image – markgraf – morguefile

 

But then I respond – Doing your job well isn’t enough these days. Competition is fiercer than ever. You need to stand up and stand out.

Thinking creatively about your job, your customers, your company, and your industry is what will set you apart.  Tweet: Thinking creatively about your job, your customers, your company & your industry will set you apart. http://ctt.ec/aCyed+ @prodigyandco

You will be the one with great ideas in meetings. You will spot the opportunities for new products and services. You will see and squash inefficiencies like they are bugs.

As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Start thinking creatively to solve new, unique, complex problems and be the office rock star.

Or do your job well – and prepare to do that same job for a very long time.

 

 

Use Creativity to Succeed – Get Motivation Post

I recently had an article featured on GetMotivation.com on using creativity to succeed. Check it out…

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Now, more than ever, companies need creativity and creative thinking in the day-to-day operations in order to truly excel and rise above the competition.

We often think of the great innovators such as Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs as the “creatives”, the kind of people who had such revolutionary ideas that they changed the world. Or we read stories like that of Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, who developed a simpler, less painful way to test blood that has turned her into the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world and we think “I could never have an idea like that.”

These stories are great examples of game-changing creativity and innovation, but they overlook the everyday creativity and innovation that makes companies tick. And that is the kind of creativity you can use to drive sales, product development, or customer service improvements in your own company. You don’t need to have ideas that change the entire world, you just need ideas to change the world you live in.

Creativity and innovation in the day-to-day starts with looking at things differently and taking on the perspectives of others. Get inside the head of your customer, boss, partner, or supplier to determine how you can impact their outcome in a positive way. This is especially critical for your customers, thinking from their perspective to understand what they want and need. But even if you don’t interact with your company’s customers on a daily basis, think of your boss or partner as a customer, and find a way to delight them with your work.

After you’ve flipped your perspective and taken the view of those around you, start testing. New perspectives on a problem or process can give you lots of ideas about how to improve things or move the needle in terms of sales or growth, but until you try some of those ideas you will never know which is the best or right choice. Without the feedback you get from trying out your ideas, you can’t have enough data to move forward. Don’t get stuck analyzing all of your options without testing at least some of them first. If testing isn’t really feasible with your specific situation, make sure and talk to a number of different people about your ideas and options.

Read the rest at GetMotivated…. 

 

3 Steps to Build Your Competitive Advantage

Have you ever heard businesses talk about their competitive advantage? The things that make them better than their competitors?

Competitive Advantage

This is an important concept for services and products because if they do not have some advantage over others in the marketplace, they will never succeed. Many businesses fail because they aren’t different or better than the competition.

What about you? Are you different or better than your competition? Competition might be a strong word to use when it comes to co-workers and I do not suggest you treat them as competitors to be taken down and beaten. {Side bar: I don’t think any business benefits from treating competition as something to be removed from the market. No one likes a jerk who does whatever it takes to win.}

However, there are times when only one person can be promoted or offered the lead of a new project. When you apply for a new job you are competing against the other applicants. Do you know how and why you are better or different? How you can make yourself shine without putting down anyone else?

Think of yourself as a service that your employer is buying and use these three aspects of competitive advantage to project your very best:

  1. Natural resources: What skills, processes, or tasks are you the very best at? Determine where you excel and do more of it. If your boss sees you continually succeeding, she will be more likely to look to you for better roles and projects. If you are looking for a job, highlight these skills as clearly and specifically as you can, using examples on your resume.
  2. Customer Service: You should think of your boss or those you support within your organization as your customers and you should give them the level of service you would want from any support line you call. Zappos is known for their excellent customer service and they continue thrive and gain customers because of it. Go above and beyond to delight your internal (and external) customers.
  3. Operational Effectiveness: This is about more than doing something really well. You can have excellent results that take a significant about of time or use too many resources. Continually be on the lookout for areas to improve processes. Can you streamline how something is handled? Can you consolidate certain reports to get the very heart of the information that is needed by leadership? Show that you not only do great work, but you use resources better than anyone else.

Treating the work you do as a service to be sold helps you hone in on what you are best and why someone should pick you. This is an important mindset even when working within a company and especially if you want to excel and move into more prominent roles.

What is your competitive advantage and how do you use it in the workplace? Let us know in the comments.