Dying without knowing

Dying without knowing - image for article by Greg Alder

Could you have been one of the world’s most celebrated violinists, dazzling audiences in the greatest concert halls – Vienna’s Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall or Boston Symphony Hall?

Could you have become a venerated surgeon & medical researcher, invited to address gatherings of the world’s top medical specialists?

Could you have been a master wood craftsman, with pieces displayed in the Museum of Modern Art?

Maybe an architect as famous as Frank Gehry? A tennis champion to rival Roger Federer?

Could you have created The Simpsons? Could your canvases be selling for a million dollars at Sotherby’s?

You’ll never know.

And it’s not just you. It’s all of us. None of us will know what dormant talents we possess.

A while back, researchers commissioned by Adobe quizzed 5000 people around the world on the subject of creativity.

Two-thirds believe that creativity is valuable to society.

Eight out of ten believe that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth.

That’s the good news.

75% say that they are not living up to their creative potential.

Only 39% describe themselves as creative.

On average, they spend just 25% of their work time creating. Most feel under pressure to produce rather than create.

These results are shattering.

If businesses are made up of people, and people aren’t living up to their creative potential, then businesses aren’t living up to their creative potential.

If your business isn’t living up to its creative potential, then here’s what’s happening:

  • You are relegated to being a follower, not a setter, of trends
  • You are missing the opportunity to gain a reputation for innovation
  • You are finding it hard to attract the brightest, most creative people
  • You are finding it hard to retain the brightest, most creative people
  • You are missing the opportunity to bring innovations to products, service delivery, production process and financial management that add dollars to your bottom line
  • You are creating disengaged robots of your staff
  • Your employees are taking more sick leave
  • Your staff’s productivity is below par

The message is pretty clear. If you want to avoid the documented consequences of stifled creativity, you need to do what you can to unleash the creativity dormant in yourself and in the people you work with.

Business leaders motivated by productivity or profitability miss the point.

By shifting the focus to creativity, productivity and profitability will improve as a matter of course.

The most powerful benefit, however, isn’t financial. It’s psychological.

The Adobe research shows that we have a desire to live up to our creative potential.

If you are in a position to champion creativity, why on earth wouldn’t you do it?

Creativity is easily lost (59% of us believe we lost ours at school).

The good news is that it is easily regained. Start today and in a matter of months, you’ll see a dramatic change.

Best of all, you and every one who works with you, won’t die wondering.

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