For ages, creativity has been one of the key factors that can make or break a business. When running an organization, there are countless unpredictable challenges, tasks, and obstacles. Overcoming them requires creative, out-of-the-box thinking to find the perfect solution or course of action. There’s no doubt that creativity and innovation play crucial roles in growing and flourishing a business.
But in this modern world, digital technology has changed how businesses operate. Creativity is still just as important as ever, but now companies also need to be quick on their feet. They need to be agile. Gone are the days when managers and board members could take months to plan their marketing strategies meticulously and execute them with utmost precision. Modern-day businesses struggle to stay relevant every day, and if they slow down their growth, countless competitors are just waiting to take over. Quick thinking, prompt action, and overall business agility are no longer just useful qualities but an absolute necessity for businesses in this digital era.
So one thing is certain – creativity and agility are both vital elements that businesses must master to keep growing and remain successful. But combining these factors is a serious problem for many companies because creativity and agility often contradict each other. Still, the fact remains that if brands and businesses want to make it big or even just stay afloat in today’s fast-paced, competitive market, then they have to find ways to combine creativity and agility.
Why Do Agility and Creativity Conflict Each Other?
Creativity doesn’t appreciate deadlines.
And agility doesn’t leave room for the relaxed, laid-back approach that creative thinking requires.
It’s no rocket science. When teams have deadlines looming over their heads, there’s this pressure to come up with solutions quickly. It becomes an arduous task to work up those brain cells and generate innovative ideas when people are already dealing with time constraints. That is why companies that require a creative approach often struggle with strict timelines and companies that adopt the agile methodology struggle with bringing out innovative plans and solutions.
How to Successfully Combine Creativity and Agility?
Can businesses sacrifice creativity over agility, or vice versa, and still emerge successful?
In today’s age, the answer is a simple no.
From coming up with catchy slogans and creating an appealing brand image to developing long-term growth and marketing strategies, creativity is essential at every stage. But, unlike how things were one or two decades ago, you can no longer move at your own pace. Some businesses blow up rapidly, and many more fall just as quickly. You have to be creative, and you have to be agile. Choosing one over the other always leaves you with a short-hand and hinders business growth. This is no longer an option, and the only solution is to master creative agility or agile creativity, however, you choose to call it.
Amazon and Netflix are two striking examples of companies that acted fast and acted smart. The former revolutionized the e-commerce industry. The latter did the same with online entertainment and streaming. Both these companies grew exponentially because they brought something new to consumers, but they also did it quickly. That itself is proof that common ground between creativity and agility is very much possible, and businesses just need to figure out how. For starters, here are some incredibly helpful tips for overcoming the barrier between being creative and agile.
1 Go back to square one
When your team spends hours brainstorming but fails to develop great ideas, it can stress them and lower their morale because every passing hour brings the decision point closer. But fretting over it won’t do any good either. That’s why businesses must learn to take a step back and start over from square one if employees are suffering from mental blocks.
2 Division of Responsibilities
Another great way to become creatively agile is to distribute responsibilities to multiple groups. Instead of having everyone work on the same problem, assigning different teams to develop creative ideas for different tasks will save time.
3 Short-term approach
Many businesses often set themselves up for failure when they only focus on the big picture. For example, if you’re working on a 3-month project and already worrying about everything that needs to be done from start to finish, it overloads the brain with too much information and planning. Break down projects into smaller stages. Assign your waypoint for each stage. Instead of focusing on the whole thing at once, only concentrate on the particular stage, you are working on. That way, you have fewer things to deal with on your plate and more mental energy to come up with amazing ideas quickly.
3 Get more hands on deck
More people equals more minds equals more creative solutions. So if you want innovation within waypoints, you should consider involving more people in the project. Of course, everyone in the organization has their own roles and departments. So you can’t get all employees to work on the same problem. But you can establish smooth communication and cross-functionality between various departments. So when your creative team is not getting any amazing ideas, other departments can assist them by providing a third-person view and fresh perception.