Creative thinking Critical

18th Feb 2021
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There are many famous examples of companies that have re-imagined themselves in order to excel in the marketplace. Netflix, for example, went from a DVD delivery service, to a streaming service, and now has achieved even greater heights by producing their own content. By thinking creatively about the best ways to please their customer, Netflix has not just survived, but reshaped the way customers think of online entertainment services. But thinking creatively is not easy, often because of the limits people unconsciously place on themselves – they think along the same well-worn paths or fall victim to the creative cliff fallacy. By working to remove these limits a business can come upon a creative way to increase efficiency such as simply switching to Ordo, the quick payments system. 

Think of a new box

When trying to think of creative ideas people are told to think outside the box, but corporate philosopher Luc de Brabandere believes true success in creativity comes instead from thinking of a whole new box. In his TED Talk, Brabandere explains that many business teams hit a wall in brainstorming sessions because they unconsciously start with assumptions that only serve to limit their creativity. To avoid this problem, he suggests rephrasing questions to encourage people to look at a problem from a different perspective. 

He uses Phillips as an example of a company that successfully re-imagined itself. What began as a household appliance company, now is a major player in the health sector, supplying hospitals with equipment like ventilators and incubators. It was not easy for them to imagine themselves in a new sector, but once they did they found that their household appliance manufacturing processes could be easily adapted to produce equipment for the health industry.

Creative cliff fallacy

Another reason brainstorming sessions produce lacklustre results is due to the creative cliff illusion. Studies have shown that many people believe that creativity decreases over time, when in fact innovative ideas typically emerge later in meetings. The reason people believe creativity declines with time is because as with any task requiring mental energy, it becomes harder as time passes. Even though it may be more difficult to think of ideas, the quality of these ideas can be high. The first ideas in a brainstorming session are often the ones that require the least effort to come up with and can therefore be dull and unimaginative. With more time, people can plumb the depths of their creativity.   

In order to avoid the creative cliff illusion:

  1. Lengthen brainstorming sessions. By giving your team more time to brainstorm, you are increasing your chance of getting truly creative ideas. 
  2. Set an aggressive goal for ideas. Ask your team to produce more ideas than you think you need and it will push them to think in new directions.
  3. Analyse the data from brainstorming sessions. Look at how your teams perform during these sessions and use this data to help you structure future meetings. When do the best ideas emerge? Did better ideas come from meetings of a certain length or from teams that generated a certain number of ideas?

Coming up with creative ideas might not be simple, but sometimes the implementation of these ideas can be. For example, if you are looking for a new way to increase the efficiency of your company, nothing could be easier than switching to a quick payments system like Ordo. Ordo is a simple, low-cost, instant payments service that can streamline the way you receive and reconcile payments. Simplifying your payments system leaves you with more time and money to innovate other areas of your business. Ordo is also the official payments Open Banking partner with Sage and is available in the Sage marketplace, along with also being fully integrated with Xero and Quickbooks too. 

Arrange a demonstration with Ordo today, get those bills paid and save your time and energy for your other ideas.