Creativity is perhaps the most valuable asset a startup can have. I’m not describing that one creative idea that launches a startup or initially inspires an entrepreneur. I mean constant creativity; fostering an environment and culture of creative expression and building a team of creative talent that constantly innovates and pushes a business forward.
This week we highlighted Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk about how modern education systems are actually repressing creativity, molding students to fill jobs instead of creating them. But he argues that people become entrepreneurs because of that creative spark, refusal to conform, and courage to be different even if they might fail.
Encouraging creativity is a critical part of a successful startup ecosystem because good ideas are too valuable to waste, and often one good idea leads to an even better one down the road. Whether in a coffeehouse building local ideas, developing a local hackerspace, or encouraging employees to work together to develop innovations for your company, there are countless ways to encourage and benefit from a creative environment.
Taking a creative approach to business is far more important than the size of your venture; more creativity often comes out of a lean, focused, and dynamic team than from a large company that does business as usual.
What steps have you taken to foster creativity in your startup? Are you finding ways to be constantly creative, or are you relying on that one original idea?