Creative ideas are vital in many aspects of communication practice, but many people think of creativity as an elusive skill. We see creative artists working, and so we associate creativity with the artistic heights they reach. But artistic creativity is a different skill from business creativity – anyone can learn business creativity.
Creativity is based on ideas. Business creativity is your ability to create as many ideas as possible so you can select the best solution that will help to solve a specific need, problem or issue, which in turn will help to achieve a measurable business objective or result.
Creativity in many people’s minds seems to be narrowly linked to generating ideas or tactics in a brainstorm. However, business creativity is integral to all the processes of communicating strategy, analyzing information and data, or developing and conveying messages to target audiences, according to creativity consultant Andy Eklund, former worldwide creative director of PR giant agency Burson-Marsteller.
Eklund believes that creative ideas can be generated by combining two ingredients together in the formula:
Goal + concept = new idea
This accords with legendary advertising creative director James Webb Young’s definition of a creative business idea as “a new combination of old elements.”
Webb Young’s definition can be extended:
“An idea is two divergent thought-elements brought together to produce a new idea that is fresh and different from original sources.” (based on Eklund)
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