Tag: performance

Newsletter – How to turn creativity into shareholder value

Dear Reader,

The last month seems to have passed very quickly and Summer seems to be fading into the past. On the plus side, there are fewer distractions so what have you been up to?

I tinkered with the soft skills training that I mentioned last month and have seen an improvement. So if you know of anybody that is looking for soft skills training such as Presentation Skills, Attention Management, Assertiveness etc with a creative twist and lots of fun then please point them in my direction. Oh, and please don’t forget the Creativity and Innovation stuff that I do too.


#justdaydreaming

I have just returned from the Inspire 2018, the Professional Speaking Association annual conference. My head is filled with ideas that I need to turn into real possibilities so watch this space …..

#justthinking

I don’t think that I am a recycling fanatic, I just like to make sure that as little as possible gets buried in a big hole in the ground. But why is it that we can recycle metals, plastics, cloth etc but we still throw huge amounts of food into landfill? Being organic it can be used for fertiliser, It can also be used to ‘brew’ alcohol which could be used to power vehicles.


creativity and shareholder valueSo how can we make sure that we get some value out of Creativity? After all, it is really only playing on bean bags with brightly coloured pens, isn’t it?

Well, to be completely honest I do sometimes do some of the stuff with pens, Lego and Play Doh. But really Creativity in a business context is about thinking differently.

This leads to different solutions to business issues as well as new products and services that nobody else has thought about. Competitive advantage, sustainability – call it what you like. It has to be good.

Superior performance is associated with Creativity according to Consulting company McKinsey. In particular, 67 percent of companies surveyed had above-average organic revenue growth. 70 percent had an above-average total return to shareholders.

McKinsey also identified four practices associated with Creativity and Innovation.

  1. Hardwire creativity and innovation in daily practices. As obvious as it may sound, creativity and innovation need to be business priorities.
  2. Become customer fanatics. Companies who rank highly have an almost fanatical devotion to understanding their customers and use many tools to understand their requirements.
  3. Feed the need for speed. Speed may be the defining attribute of modern businesses and companies at the top of their game are quicker at translating ideas and insights into action.
  4. Adapt or die. The top companies showed an ability to adapt, some actually expanding under adverse circumstances.

I can hear people saying ‘its easy for you to say’. Well, I have helped companies embrace and make use of Creativity in a variety of situations. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Please do get in touch or provide feedback by replying to this newsletter, or using any of the contact methods listed on the website derekcheshire.com.

Happy reading,

Derek Cheshire

Can I help you to find the difference that makes the difference?

Derek is a Fellow of the RSA, a speaker, facilitator, award-winning radio presenter and Adjunct Professor at VIT University, Chennai. He has been working in the field of Business Creativity and Innovation since 2002.

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Serendipity – luck or skill?

Serendipity was not a word that was in my vocabulary for a long time. I first encountered it whilst studying for my MBA and initially I took it to mean ‘good fortune’. To many this definition suffices but as far as exploiting serendipity in a corporate context is concerned there is much more to it.

Managers in most companies are aware that as far as creativity is concerned, potential (often greatly) exceeds performance. They are aware of the problem but are not sure exactly what they should do about it. Many creative initiatives are planned (are these truly creative?) and a large number are spontaneous. They often hit us when we least expect it and we are unaware of what form these events will be, where they will come from and who might get tangled up in them.

If the truly great potential is in the unexpected then what can be done to harness or capture the power of the unexpected?

A simple but powerful example of the power of the unexpected comes from Japan Railways. During the construction of a tunnel through Mt. Tanigawa engineers encountered many problems with water. Just as they began to provide a traditional draining solution enter an enterprising railway worker. He thought that the water tasted so good it ought to be bottled and sold as a premium brand mineral water rather than simply pumping it away. And so “Oshimizu” was born. It became so popular that Japan Railways installed Oshimizu vending machines on every one of its nearly platforms. Marketing material emphasises the purity of Mt. Tanigawa’s snow which is the source of the water and also the slow percolation through the rock which adds minerals. The product grew to include juices as well as iced and hot teas and coffees. By 1994, sales of Oshimizu branded drinks had risen to $47 million.

A natural tendency of management is to believe it’s more in control of events than it really is, or that it really needs to be in control of everything. Hence the proliferation of myths that hide the true source of creativity and the manuals and systems that allow management to successfully manage creativity.

We are all told that to be creative we must suspend our critical thinking. So if we all rearrange our office furniture or let our emails pile up for a day our companies will be brimming with creativity?

So Luck or Skill? Well as we can see from the Japan Railways example an unexpected event is nothing on its own. We need luck and an ability to react appropriately in a corporate environment.

Coming soon … Six Steps to Turn Luck Into Profit.

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