The most creative entrepreneurs create more value and wealth, not only in physical products and services, but also in their intangible assets such as their brand, reputation, network and intellectual property.
An entrepreneur is literally “one who creates a new business.” The best new businesses are ones that have never been done before, so mastering creativity and recognizing creativity are key skills and mind-sets. But how does one recognize and nurture creativity in a person or team?
Recently, I was reviewing a new book by Bryan Mattimore, “Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs,” which outlines well eight attributes of the most creative people, which seem to match the mind-sets of some of the best entrepreneurs I know. Investors look for these in the people they fund, and you should be looking for them in yourself:
Forever curious. Endless curiosity is the number one indication of the creative mind-set. It allows entrepreneurs to challenge what is already “known” to extrapolate that to an original idea. Curiosity infuses you with the determination needed to figure out or learn how to turn an original or innovative idea into a reality.
Always open to new things. Thinking this way can be viewed as quieting the opinions of the judgmental mind long enough to allow the creative mind the time and space it needs to generate interesting insights, associations, and connections. This opens creative possibilities, rather than categorizing new things into self-limited dead-ends.
Embrace ambiguity. This is the capacity to entertain contradictory or incomplete information without discomfort and anxiety. To the creative mind-set, contradictions are an invitation to more focused creative thought, to resolve the paradox, and derive a new un-ambiguous potentially great idea.
Finding and transferring principles. There are two parts to this mind-set. First is the mental habit or discipline of continually identifying the creative principles inherent in an idea in a given context. The second part is adapting the principle to another context to create a new idea. It’s the ability to work from the specific to the general.
Searching for integrity. This is the desire to discover, and the belief that there exists, an insight or connection that will unite seemingly disparate elements into a single integrated whole. When it happens, it’s exciting and magical, and it feels absolutely, positively, and completely right. Integrity doesn’t need to explain itself.
Knowing you can solve the problem. This is the confidence that you can tackle the difficult, even seemingly impossible challenges, with inevitable dead-ends, to make a creative breakthrough. As with a success mentality, knowingness is the persistence to make creativity a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Able to visualize other worlds.