Did you know that if you think you are creative, you’re more likely to actually be creative? This surprising fact pops up again and again in our research. In our database of over 6,000 professionals who have taken the Innovator’s DNA self & 360 assessments, people (entrepreneurs and managers alike) who “agree” with the survey statement “I am creative” consistently deliver disruptive solutions — by creating new businesses, products, services, and processes that no one has done before. They see themselves as creative and act that way.
But what if you don’t see yourself as creative? Are you actually less creative?
This is an important question to ask because many — probably half — of you don’t think that you’re creative. Around the world we regularly ask groups of 100 to 1,000 managers and executives, “Are you creative?” With clockwork consistency, at best half the hands in an audience slowly rise. This is not exactly a scientific sample and methodology, but it’s direct enough data to see that most managers don’t define themselves as creative (and for what it’s worth, asking the more socially acceptable “Are you innovative?” question delivers an equally anemic response).
The bad news is that if you don’t think you’re creative, our survey data say that you probably are not. But there is good news: You can actually become more creative by changing your mind-set. Anyone can innovate, if they choose to. Disruptive innovators do it by choice, not chance. Their everyday actions swap out an “I’m not creative” mind-set for an “I am creative” one. And then magical (not mystical) things unfold.
The magic materializes as people engage unique innovation skills (what we call their innovator’s DNA) on an everyday basis. For example, by asking provocative questions, observing like anthropologists, networking with people who see the world in 180-degree opposites, and experimenting with intensity, innovators obliterate the “I’m not creative” brain barrier and, more often than not, break out from the pack.
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