My friend Frank DeRaffele Jr., whom is also one of the co-authors of my upcoming book Business Networking and Sex, shared with me a great article he recently wrote called “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” and I’d like to share it with all of you who read this blog.
Frank makes some very interesting points about the importance of balancing creativity and innovation in regard to small business and I think small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere will benefit from reading this article. Since the article is quite lengthy, I’m going to divide it into a few different guest blogs so, if you like what you read in the remainder of this blog entry, be sure to stay tuned for the follow up guest blogs featuring Frank’s article.
“Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank J. DeRaffele Jr.
As Small Business Entrepreneurs (SBEs), one of our greatest strengths is our creativity. Coming up with new ideas . . . ALL THE TIME. However, one of our greatest weaknesses is our creativity. Coming up with new ideas . . . ALL THE TIME. For most of us, we have too many ideas, too often. Oh, the paradox! We tend to like the new idea, the new concept, the new Ah-ha! The problem with this creativity and these great ideas is that we tend to be great out of the gate but lose power on the follow through. I am not saying that we should not be creative. I am not saying that creativity is a bad thing. I AM saying that creativity can be a time stealer, distraction, justification, and crutch.
Ninja vs. Samurai
Most of us SBEs love the freedom that we have to come up with new ideas and then implement them as quickly or as slowly as we like. We love the fact that if and when we get bored with this new idea or we feel it is not panning out as we hoped, we can just drop it and move on. After all, we have no one to answer to. “I can do what I want, when I want to, and no one can tell me otherwise” we think to ourselves. This is true. Very true. In fact, TOO TRUE. This freedom we have ends up becoming our Profitability Ninja. This Ninja disguises himself as strength and confidence, happiness and joy. Yet, behind his mask is the true assassin. The Ninja who will kill our profits. He begins to steal our profits and we don’t notice it. We may not notice it for weeks, months, or years. We mostly don’t notice it because either he is too close to us or we just refuse to see him.
This Ninja steals by keeping us focused on new projects that really haven’t been well thought out. Investing time, energy, man hours, relationships, and money, with little to no return. This is when the Dark Ninja turns into the Red Ninja. We are metaphorically bleeding. We are now going from profitability to loss (Black Ink to Red Ink).
So how do we save ourselves from this Ninja? Enter the Samurai of Innovation . . .
Come back next week to read more of Frank’s article and learn about the “Samurai of Innovation.” In the meantime, if you have any comments to share about this first article installment, please feel free to share them here.