Creativity: These days, many businesspeople hear the word creativity and automatically think of finances in the same way that stretching used to be something you only did during exercise. The creativity I'm referring to is originality of thought and execution, which are becoming increasingly necessary in today’s business arena. Creativity is the steam that powers the locomotive of progress.
When the heat’s on, the same old way of handling situations just won’t cut it any more. The same old routines are probably what gets you into trouble. Down pressures are changing in nature and intensity. Up pressures are coming from the rapidly changing dynamics of a workforce with a new identity. Lack of originality in thinking and behavior is a sign that you're vise is slowly closing in.
Energy: Any effective organization has an energy you can sense as soon as you enter the office. Even if only one person is in the office at the time, you will still be able to feel it. The thought might even pop into your head that this could be a fun place to work. Andrew Carnegie, the great industrialist, said, "I've found there is little success where there is little laughter."
When you walk into the other kind of office, the one with low or no energy, you feel that too. It’s like walking into a big refrigeration unit. The chill makes you shiver. Even if only one person is sitting there, you still feel the chill. Some offices might as well have a sign on the wall that says: Fun is forbidden. Anyone caught enjoying what they’re doing will be punished.
Where there is no fun, there is no energy. How long does it take to detect energy or lack of it in an office? Within five seconds, you can tell how much fun it is to work there. Your customers can tell the same thing within five seconds of being greeted by one of your team members.
Change: Change is what happens when you mix creativity and energy. An effective organization is a changing organization. I don’t say that the other way around because it is possible for management to change the look, the staff, the location, and a thousand other things about an organization in an attempt to artificially produce effectiveness.
Change that does not emerge from a healthy combination of creativity and energy will look, feel, and taste synthetic. Creativity combined with energy produces change from within. Changes imposed from outside feel like impositions. Changes from within are self-regulated and guided by realism. Here are three methods of building energy, creativity, and change:
- Analyze the steps used to solve a very difficult problem that you or a team member experienced in recent months.
- Learn what "vibes" the average customer picks up when they initially meet any of your team members?
- Identify a change you can initiate right now to make your organization more effective.