Published 09 October 2017 Category: Business Insights, Startups, SMEs, Entrepreneurs, Workplace

10 Reasons Why Creatives Have An Unfair Advantage In Business

Today, we see a hybrid creature who is both an artist and a businessperson. He or she is just as comfortable in a corporate meeting room as they are in an art studio. They wield either pen or paintbrush with equal skill. This person is a creative entrepreneur.

More and more businesses are making the adaptations necessary to attract and retain creative class employees - everything from relaxed dress codes, flexible schedules, and new work rules in the office to hiring recruiters who throw Frisbees.

What it means to be a creative person.
Creative entrepreneurs are now finding willing listeners to their ideas. And in the information age, the creative entrepreneur’s killer combo of art skill with business savvy can quickly become their unfair advantage.
But what do we mean by unfair advantage? It’s the ‘edge’ that creative people have.

Creative People’s Minds Are Always At Work
The creative mind works overtime to process information, assess the big picture of a situation, and synthesise different ideas. This happens subconsciously and so it’s happening all the time: while on a walk, while driving, while in the shower, even while sleeping.

For the creative person, this is totally natural, and so it doesn’t feel like work. In fact, it often feels a lot more like play. The creative mind does not obey a “9 to 5” schedule – it’s always working.

Creative People Make Value Out Of Thin Air
If more creative people realised something about themselves that their bosses already know, they’d ask for a lot more money. The thing is: even with modest resources and time, a creative worker can produce many times more value than the original investment.

Picture this: you’re in a museum in say, London – amidst the vast collection of artifacts from every age and location on earth. But something catches your eye. There’s a rumpled piece of paper with hasty words scrawled on it, some lines of text are crossed out and others squeezed haphazardly. Nothing artistically relevant or inherently valuable. Its immense value is in the words represented. Let’s say that the idea conveyed by these scribbled symbols was a song – and that song was Yesterday by the Beatles.

Paul McCartney (Lennon is also credited) wrote that song in 1964-65. The value of a crumpled scrap of paper from the 1960s: practically zero. The value of that song today? According to the BBC, in 2012 it has amassed royalties of 19.5 million pounds, making it the fourth most successful song of all time in terms of royalties.

Creative People Are Expert Curators
In our information rich society, the creative’s ability to synthesise different bits of data into a relevant (and attractive) whole that can be consumed is an increasingly prized skill to have. This is called curation.

Creative People Are Highly Self-Motivated
Artists normally enjoy making things. As employees, as long as we’re given clear direction and enough autonomy to work, as well as the necessary tools that we need to do our job, we are highly effective and require minimum direction. This makes us extremely valuable to any company.

Creative People Are Natural Marketers
Marketing is a frequently misunderstood field. Many people think it’s all about hype and overselling. But just because some marketing-types act this way, it doesn’t mean all marketing (or truly effective marketing) is this way. The core effectiveness of good marketing is simply communication. It’s telling the story of a brand in an attractive way that (ideally) is authentic enough to portray it’s values accurately. This matches customers with companies in a harmonious relationship.

Creative People Are Relentless Problem Solvers
If there is a flaw in a business, or something that could be tweaked to work better, a creative person will usually find it and give you a lot of suggestions on how to fix it.

Creative People Are Fun And / Or Interesting To Be Around
Creatives may not be extroverted party animals, but they’re certainly interesting to be around. They seem to have a photographic memory for all things offbeat and wacky, they can carry a discussion about philosophy in one sentence and obscure pop-culture the next.

Creative People Understand Culture
Non-creative people are culture chasers. Creative people are culture makers. Creatives understand people and think deeply about what makes them tick. They “get” offbeat humor. They understand symbolism and can create products that are rich with significance and meaning for any audience.

Creative People Have Vision
Vision, in the entrepreneurial sense, is the ability to form a mental image of something that hasn’t happened or been created yet. Creatives with extensive experience and the ability to communicate their vision become thought leaders. These thought leaders are highly sought after for their opinions, and they have considerable influence over companies and cultures.

Creative People Make Stuff Look Good
Put simply, creatives know how to make stuff look, sound, and feel “right”.

However, the good news is that creativity isn't scarce and it does not belong to a select few. All of us have it within.