At BusinessPundit, Rob bemoans the interference of the day-to-day work grind with creativity:
Over at FC Blog there has been a lot of discussion about ideas and how to generate them. I've been ruminating on some of the posts and I realized that I don't feel nearly as creative as I used to feel. I think my creativity has been killed by my daily grind. Almost everything I do right now is focused on the operational aspects of a new business. Since I started these long days focused on getting everything in place, I haven't had time to do the things I used to, and I think those things helped make me creative. So what I would like to add to the debate is this question: Are we uncreative because we simply don't have the time? Seriously, creativity takes work. It takes varying stimuli and inputs. I don't have those right now. My thinking has moved from dynamic and non-linear to linear and one-dimensional. I can tell. It really sucks, but I can't break it until I have time to stop this one-track thinking process I have of growing a new business. It's a catch-22, because I'd probably grow the business better if I used some creativity.
I've been thinking a lot about this topic, but more in context with what I can offer my clients. Here's a heads-up for my blog friends... I'm renaming my company and repositioning myself out of the branding game. Stay tuned; I'll hopefully have a new web site & corporate ID in a couple weeks to share with you. I decided it's time to follow my own advice! As many of you know, I've been struggling with the word 'brand' for a long time; there's too much confusion about what it means, and 'branding' is too crowded of a market. But more fundamentally, most execs don't think they have a branding problem. The issue they usually face is being too close to their own businesses... getting mired in operations and 'the way we've always done things.' They'd all like to be creative about where to take their businesses, but as Rob points out, that can be a real challenge.
I think the biggest stumbling block to creativity is not time per se, but finding the right "stimuli and inputs' that generate creative thought. If I can bring that to the table -- not a brand neatly wrapped, but completely new perspectives on their businesses from the eyes of customers, employees and the marketplace -- then I can work with my clients to co-create new directions and opportunities. The process might produce a brand strategy, a new way to go to market, a new product idea, a way to reduce churn, or simply a more effective sales presentation. This is what I truly have fun doing in my work; finding the 'ah hah!' that changes the way my clients see their businesses. More to come on this topic...