Running a business requires more than sound formulas. While there are plenty of time-tested methods for getting things started, it takes an extra something to create a business that not only survives but thrives in various economic conditions. There isn’t a clear-cut answer for every question, and not every problem has an ideal solution. While it’s acceptable to borrow someone else’s playbook for most things, business owners who lack originality and problem-solving skills will get left in the dust by those who can think creatively.
Flexibility and Leadership in the New Millennium
The technological landscape has changed on a wider scale within the last decade than it did during the three decades that preceded it. This has rendered a lot of old business strategies obsolete, and the rate of progress has shown no signs of slowing down. It’s the primary reason that business owners need to become more creative; viable long-term strategies need to incorporate a degree of flexibility that business plans didn’t require prior to the 21st century.
It isn’t enough for business owners to hire creative thinkers to serve their companies. They need to embody what they want to see in their employees. Companies without strong leaders are like rudderless ships in stormy seas; employees may have brilliant ideas, but without someone in charge who recognizes true innovation, those ideas become little more than wasted potential. Business owners don’t need to become experts at everything, but they do need to know enough to be able to hire the right people, and they need to be beacons of confidence to those who have entrusted them with their futures.
There’s always more than one way to approach a problem, and learning all of the various methods is necessary for truly understanding what’s at the core of it. That understanding can often be applied to other aspects of a business, and it gives employees the kind of experience that’s immensely helpful when dealing with new challenges.
This is where critical thinking comes into play. When it’s broken down, critical thought requires two things: a willingness to question assumptions and the ability to create actionable plans. It’s not entirely unlike the scientific method, and the main benefit is that it’s results-oriented over everything else. It forces people to keep digging until they uncover solutions, and as long as there are well-defined goals, a little critical thought can go a long way.
Creativity and the Bottom Line
A lot of business owners make the mistake of undervaluing creative thinking, but creativity is the wild card that can push a business over the top. Creative marketing campaigns are responsible for sustaining the profitable empires of countless corporate entities, and encouraging creativity among employees can lend itself to bursts of inspiration that end up becoming incredibly profitable. Creative work environments also foster job satisfaction
among employees, and that helps business owners create an army of loyal workers who want to see their company succeed. That’s a key component of long-term financial success.
The Expectations of the Modern Age
It’s not easy to run a business, and encouraging creativity and critical thought may seem like a huge burden for some, but the potential payoff is far too great to ignore. Businesses can no longer survive if they are devoid of creativity, and fostering the kind of work environment that engages both creative and critical impulses is necessary for survival in the modern world.
About the Author
Jen Riddle is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on online education opportunities. Several schools offer online degrees in business, including mba.norwich.edu and newhaven.edu.