Who best to create great companies? Artists

I found this fascinating article on (truly my favorite business magazine of all time) about a new book by Jim Stengel called Grow.  I have not yet read the book but am intrigued and excited by the premise that the most successful businesses are led by “business artists”.

Basically, the idea is that creative vision and relentless pursuit of the ideal drive innovation and products that truly inspire (including inpsiring buying behavior).  Steve Jobs is exhibit 1.

I love this idea and I agree with it.  The brands I truly love and am loyal to do not manage to the lowest common denominator.  They are much more focused on quality and customer experience.  They know it’s not all about efficiency.  It’s a certain je ne sais quoi.

In this spirit of celebrating creativity, I’ll be kicking off a series soon on creative careers.  In the meantime, watch for new LinkedIn tips.

Try something new

I’m trying out a new theme for my blog.  Most likely, you won’t notice.  It’s not radically different from the original theme.  But I like it.  So, I changed it.  Just because I can. 

Sometimes it’s good to do this.  It’s like re-arranging your furniture.  It knocks the dust off.   Provides a new perspective.  Sometimes we need to do that in our career too.  Keeps it fresh.  Keeps us growing.  I did it in my own, and have never regretted it.  

The timing of this post was unintentional, but I guess this is a good time of year for trying something new.  I’m already thinking about some more meaty changes as well for next year.  What new thing will you try in the new year?

Nurturing the Creative You

When we think of creativity we think of Artists with a capital A. Truth be told, I am guilty of this myself. I am enamoured with artists, which is most likely a sign of the frustrated artist within me.

But creativity is not the realm of the zealous few. I have worked with hundreds of people over the years, mostly in corporate America, and I have come to believe most people harbor an artist within. It’s a truly exciting idea–that as a species we are inherently creative. When I talk with people, it usually takes only a question or two to scratch beneath the surface and find the artist lurking there. (Most people don’t ask, but I do.) And I discover to my great joy that they are writing a screenplay or a novel, or they paint or enjoy photography, or sing or play an instrument or compose or make jewelry or lamps, or they build beautiful furniture. The list is endless because the possibilities are endless. For me this is part of the excitement. I’m a person who absolutely loves possibilities. And I get excited when I see others open to new possibilities.

I believe nurturing the artist within can help us with our careers even if we are not making a living at our art. Exercising our creativity in one area strengthens the muscle and helps us be more creative, more open, more flexible in other areas. And to succeed in any profession today we must be flexible.

Entreprenuers are a unique brand of artist. Even if they do nothing in a so-called creative field, they are literally creating– building businesses. And thank goodness! They create a means of earning a living for so many others. They bring goods and services to market that are necessary for, or enrich our lives. Even outside of entrepreneurism, today we must all create our careers and keep reinventing ourselves to stay relevant in the marketplace. Gone are the days of lifetime employment with a single employer.

So do your art, whatever it may be and do not apologize for it. You are strengthening the muscles you will need to sustain you today and into the future.