Most of us will agree that creativity is a key element in a company’s growth and sustainability. This applies to small and large companies, start-ups, and service or product companies. Without creativity, you are susceptible to becoming a me-too company, which will lead to lower profit margins, loss of market share, and eventual demise in today’s fast moving entrepreneurial world.
So, the big trick is, knowing how to foster the maximum creativity in everyone in the company. One of the most important ways is to have curious people in the firm. You want people who ask a lot of questions-not gossip questions.
They should ask “how” questions.
- How do we know if our ads work?
- Who buys our products?
- How do we stack up against our competition?
- How can we improve, etc.
You want a diversity of curious people, who may disagree with each other but always in a civil tone without politics in play.
This curiosity element should begin in the hiring process. Look for curious people and think of questions to ask them. Do they know what is going on in the world? What do they read? How much do they know about your company or industry? Etc.
You, as the Small Business owner, need to have a high patience level to listen to all these questions. Many will seem silly or a waste of time to you. You can’t say that is a stupid question because that will halt the flow of questions, and there goes your creative environment. This could be difficult for you as many action-oriented entrepreneurs are short of patience.
Curious people are also much more apt to always be learning. They are not complacent with their current knowledge level. Continuous learning is a lifelong process and should be encouraged. It will pay off in your business and employee retention.
This patience with questions carries over to your home life, particularly with kids. Their barrage of questions can be annoying at times. However, that is how they learn. Your patience will help the process.