What can business people learn from the words by Thomas Edison and other innovators?
Entrepreneurial thinking is a mix of business acumen and creativity. In business, we solve problems every day. To be successful in business, we have to find ways how to make operations and processes more cost-effective in terms of money, time and effort spent on them.
Maintaining mutually beneficial relations with clients, suppliers and employees also requires a skillful approach. We have a chance to gain and maintain a competitive edge in today’s fast changing business environment only if we constantly innovate.
Innovators’ experience shows us that it is impossible to develop new ways of thinking and new methods of doing things without a great deal of determination and creativity. Here’s what the most prominent celebrities, scientists and business people said about the role of creativity and innovation in business:
- “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” – Thomas Edison
- “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
- “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
- “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker
- “If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules”. – Paul Arden
- “Innovation is creativity with a job to do.” – John Emmerling
- “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs
- “Innovation is change that unlocks new value.” – Jamie Notter
- “Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” – Brian Reed
- “The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs
Most importantly, creativity should never stop. “Never lose this innovation spirit,” urges Thorsten Heins, the former CEO of BlackBerry. “Change before you have to,” warns Jack Welch who held the posts of the chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001 and during whose tenure the company’s value rose 4,000%. Having extensive experience in leading innovative enterprises, they surely know the true value of creativity.
So, if you’re struggling with a seemingly unsolvable problem now, just think how you can approach it more creatively.
Image: Bruce Mars