We embrace all of our client partnerships, from the well-established brands that have been around for decades to fresh-faced start-ups. Even though Designsensory is approaching 15 years, we believe an entrepreneurial culture is valuable at all stages of business.
The Lean Startup author Eric Ries defines "entrepreneurship" as “the management discipline that deals in a scientific way with situations of high uncertainty.” In a Huffington Post blog, "Lean Startup and Design Thinking," author Cosmin Gheorghe shares “what Lean Startup and Design Thinking have in common is the focus on the customers and their actual needs.”
According to a Gallup study and associated article “highly successful entrepreneurs can creatively look beyond the present and imagine possible futures for their company. If you are a Creative Thinker, you are driven to steer your business in new directions.”
The "Great Entrepreneurs Are Creative Thinkers" piece goes on to share seven ways to maximize your creative thinker talent:
1. Balance current and future customer needs. It is easy to be tied down with day-to-day business management and focused on delivering what your customers expect from you. Set aside time to disconnect from the present, and feed your creativity to imagine your customers' future needs. This will help you dream and plan for the future and maintain your competitive advantage.
2. Use measurement to evaluate your ideas. When weighing which idea to implement, ask yourself, "How can we measure this?" Pick ideas apart to identify issues that could crop up during implementation. If the results show that a project isn't viable, then modify or abandon the idea and move on to the next one.
3. Minimize potential pitfalls by releasing your new product or service incrementally. Implementing new ideas is risky. Iteration is key. Launch the prototype, gather feedback from customers, make necessary changes, and test again. Using this low-cost approach, you can turn your novel and creative ideas into products or services without much potential downside.
4. Maintain a simple organizational structure. Fewer layers of hierarchy will enable easier information flow between you and your team. A simple organizational structure will also increase employee involvement in implementing ideas, encourage employees' creativity, and lead to quicker execution and understanding of new ideas.
5. Balance efficiency with creativity. Process management techniques, such as total quality management or Six Sigma, which can increase your growing company's efficiency and productivity, are also likely to decrease your ability to innovate. Don't let efficiency-enhancing practices act as barriers to exploring new ideas. Nurture your natural creativity. Continue to invest in new ideas as you increase operational efficiency.
6. Mobilize resources to fuel your innovation process. You need two things for successful innovation: diverse experiences that spark your creativity and resources to drive the innovation process. Tap in to your existing network or build new alliances internally and externally to stimulate your creativity and access shared resources.
7. Learn from your failures. When carefully planned new initiatives fail, the potential to learn from them is immense. Don't let this learning opportunity go to waste. Conduct a post-mortem, make sense of what happened, and add what you have learned to your knowledge base. Fostering intelligent failures will help you learn what not to do as you dream about the future.
Innovation and entrepreneurship often go hand in hand. James Dyson, founder of Dyson, has shared, "We are all looking for the magic formula. Well, here you go: Creativity + Iterative Development = Innovation."
How are you celebrating an entrepreneurial culture and creative thinking in your business?