Creativity as the Basis for Entrepreneurship By Galit Zamler
Creativity as the basis for entrepreneurship. Thinking about the idea of a project is sometimes due to creativity, but creativity is also required in the implementation of the project, development, marketing, dealing with difficulties in the process, and more.
Creative thinking is a skill that can be learned, and education for creativity can take place within the school.
In general, creativity is a process of solving problems in an original way, through which creative ideas/services/products/processes are created.
Thinking about solving problems encountered by the developer brings him/her to create a product/service that meets the need and address the problem.
Looking around, the ability to see an opportunity to create a problem, is encouraging the establishment of enterprises.
The Entrepreneurship for Kids Program was also born in Israel from the desire to solve a problem: when the program started, the education for entrepreneurship was rarely found in primary Israeli schools, to encourage schools to adopt an attitude of entrepreneurship education and remove barriers to the adoption of the approach. The program has become a social-educational project that faces schools.
In the program, there is one subject that deals with solving problems creatively, since dealing and solving problems encourages creative thinking, an out of the box and a comprehensive view of situations.
Some of the solutions will be used by the person him/herself and/or his immediate environment, but some of them can also help the community and, in these cases, the solution can be used for a new project.
An example of from resolving a personal problem - birthed an enterprise:
The eldest son of the Israeli couple Eleanor and Yishai was born weighing 2 kg in total.
When the parents wanted to purchase a carrier so they can walk him out, they found out that there is no suitable carrier for a baby that weighed so little.
The solution they found was: Carrying their baby in a makeshift cloth baby carrier, as African women do.
Feedback from the environment and mothers of infants were so positive that the couple decided their solution could also help other parents, and hence created the project: Simply Good.
Since the company was founded, it has expanded its product offering and expanded overseas to other markets.
source: Simply Good.
An example of creative problem solving:
Here is a story with a moral - a story which we also present to the kids who participate in the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program in a lesson on Creativity.
The story tells how an old retired man reveals that children were playing beneath his window disturbing his rest. He assumed that if he yelled and expelled them it would not work successfully and the noise wouldn't stop.
The man thought how he would solve the problem in a different way. Eventually, he turned to the kids thanking them for playing beneath his window and, because he so enjoyed hearing their voices, he was willing to give each one a one NIS coin, provided that they would continue to play under his window.
And that's how the old man found himself paying the kids, one NIS coin every day for weeks.
In the second week the old man turned to them again, but this time, he explained, apologetically, that he doesn't have much money and so, from now on, they will only get half a Shekel each.
The children did not like it, as they got used to getting paid every day, yet most of them continued to play.
A week later, the retired man turned to them again and told them that he was very apologetic, but half a shekel is also a lot of money for him so, going forward, he would give them only ten cents.
To that the children refused. They were angry and said that they are not willing to play under his window for such a paltry salary.
Thus, the old man has solved the problem and it got quiet outside his window.
An example of creative solution for improving work processes:
The Tesla's example demonstrates that creativity can be expressed in many different and versatile processes.
As a part of the QA of the cars, the car manufacturers need to check how long can vehicles be resilient to low temperatures. Usually, in order to check this, the vehicle is being put inside cooling cells, except that their cost is very high.
Tesla, which in its beginnings functioned more as a start-up that was trying to save costs, found a creative and efficient solution to perform the test; Tesla's engineers rented a big ice-cream refrigerated truck, with a big cooling cell. The vehicles were then put inside the cooling cell, and the engineers who had on thick overcoats, got into the cooling cell and in there performed the necessary tests required for vehicle's resilience to low temperature.
Technology nowadays makes us constantly surrounded with stimuli that compete for our attention.
Entrepreneurs who develop products or services want to make the target audience pay attention to them and thereby make them consume their product or service.
There is the option of investing large amounts of money by various marketing means directed to the target audience, but this money is not always available to entrepreneurs and, even if it is, it will also end, and the marketing and customers' recruitment mission is an ongoing one.
In order to succeed in this task, which has become more complex and challenging over time, entrepreneurs must be creative in creating differentiation and uniqueness to define their product/service, which will make people want to talk about it. As soon as you succeed in cracking this challenge, marketing becomes easier.
You may watch Seth Godin's TED talk on: "How to Get Your Ideas to Spread?"
Developing "Crazy" Ideas
Ideas that are truly groundbreaking are considered, at least at the beginning, to be crazy ideas, ones that most of the environment cannot understand and/or accept.
But such creative ideas are those who make real changes in the world.
In order for an entrepreneur with "crazy" ideas to succeed, he/she must have a vision, independent and critical thinking, and an ability to show great determination in front of all those who will try to dissuade him from proceeding with the idea.
Larry Page, one of Google co-founders, put it this way: "Good ideas are always crazy until they're not." This principle guides Google in its various developments.
One of these developments stemmed from a desire to search for text within a book. But all the experts in the field claimed that the project of scanning millions of books from around the world into digital format is impossible.
In spite of everything, the execution of the crazy idea has begun. And as we know today, millions of books have already been scanned by Google.
Creativity in Differentiation
Our world is competitive. It has a wide range to offer clients in different areas. To draw the attention of the target audience, we need to create a differentiation for ourselves, to stand out from the rest.
Anyone, before setting up any venture, has to ask himself 'how my project is different from others? What is its uniqueness? Why would the customers prefer my business over competitors?
Creativity can help us to distinguish ourselves from others.
Bonobos is an apparel company via e-commerce that combines the online world and the physical stores in a unique way.
The company has a chain of stores that do not hold stock of clothing. In these stores, the customers measure the clothes, get personal attention from the sellers, and choose the items that are sent to their home after a short time.
This uniqueness alongside quality products, free shipping service, and convenient return options have made the chain a leading apparel brand in the US.
Creating differentiation does not necessarily require changing the concept of business and high financial investment. With creativity, we can distinguish our business at relatively low costs without changing the concept.
Wright & Dickson did so with the blenders it produces with great success and with a simple and ingenious creative means.
Creative Thinking in Teamwork
In order to encourage creative thinking while working in groups it's necessary first to make sure that there is an open atmosphere, that allows different and peculiar ideas to be heard without any criticism from the other group members.
When we allow every group member to state his opinion freely without censuring what's being said, we are upping the chance that eventually we'll get creative solutions for arising problems.
When there's a culture of openness and creativeness, it's an easy thing to implement, but when there's a group that has yet to form such culture that encourage creativity, it's better to first start with that.
One of the options is to engage in activities that bring us back to our childhood, and allow us to step out of the formal atmosphere. Only after that should we try and confront issues that require creativity.
It's also advised to allow each group member to reach conclusions on his own in the subjects that we are focused on, and after that to have a joint meeting with the rest of the group.
This kind of a brainstorming process allows independent thinking in each person on one hand, without being affected from what that's been said, and on the other hand the open sharing in the next step is helping together to come up with a versatile and creative ideas and also improve ideas that have already come up.
Entrepreneur skills & entrepreneurship education