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Creativity: A Surfboard to Navigate the Troubled Waters!

“ You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

– Maya Angelou

For the last few weeks the topic of discussions, memes, forwards, jokes, news, updates, reports, etc. has been mostly on the current pandemic global crisis. A few smart business enthusiasts have proactively come up with products and services, in some form (mostly digital) that would enable them to survive or thrive during these times. 

We, at Learning Ethos, have been thinking about empowering those people who feel stuck, fear, or dreads the worst, and have been looking frantically for some innovative ways to sustain and stay relevant. 

One of my favorite all-time tools to navigate through troubled times is SWOT (Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats). However, the million-dollar questions still remain…..

How can one convert a threat into an opportunity?

How can one site such opportunities during troubled times?

This is where one’s creative potential comes to play. ‘Creative Confidence’ has got be that most powerful weapon in your arsenal during times like these!

We believe that everyone is creative in some way or the other. There is an abundance of creative potential within you, waiting to be tapped! Of course, you need to dig deeper to unearth them.

Here are three practical tips to use your inherent creative potential and innovate :

  1. Look beyond the obvious to uncover hidden insights

Insights fuel innovation!

If we look around us, there are so many innovative products and services that have become a part and parcel of our life. Each innovation has emerged from an underlying need.

However, what truly differentiates all blockbusters from mediocre is insights!

Here is an example: In 2007 PNC Financial Services, an American banking firm was striving to appeal to young customers. What they did to achieve this was pathbreaking in the FinTech space. They introduced ‘The PNC Virtual Wallet’ with a variety of features that allowed Gen Y to experience better control over their money. 

This product was born out of very powerful insight, that ‘while tech-savvy and adept at weaving technology into their lives, Gen Y is far from literate when it comes to banking and managing their finances.’

PNC tapped into this insight and offered this new account that attracted 14,000 new customers in the first two months.

Read about more such innovations born out of powerful insights here:


What customer/client insights can you tap into in the current scenario?

(If you have any thoughts/ideas do comment below this article, to inspire others)

  1. Widen your thought horizons

The next question on your mind now is probably on how one can uncover these insights. Real insights come from getting out in the world and gaining empathy with people whose lives you want to improve.

We could use this time we have at hand, to understand our end customers (our customer’s customer) better. If not by going out, maybe just by observing, or by picking up that phone and talking to a couple of them and reflecting on what they had to say.

We could also widen our horizons or scope of work and also look at some extreme users for whom we could design or redesign a product/service. 

Let’s take an example of a kitchen tools manufacturer. The mainstream users of kitchen tools like a knife, peeler, strainer, etc. are, let’s say, adults of the age group 20-65 years . The extreme users could be a six-year-old learning the basics of cooking, or a chef in a five-star restaurant, or even a senior citizen with parkinsons or arthritis. Could we have a range of specialized products/services for them?

Here is an opportunity for each one of us to look at varied arenas for carving that niche! 

Extreme users can be identified by looking at your target segment through different lenses. In the above example, we have used age as the lens. Each time use a different lens like age, behavior, quantity, etc. you get a set of extreme users. Sometimes, you can simply learn a lot from them (if not extended your services to them).

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Who are those extreme users for your business? Can you tap into these unexplored spaces?

(If you have any thoughts/ideas do comment below this article, to inspire others)

  1. Start with some action

Getting creative is just like trying to gain fluency in a new language by speaking it every day. Poorly at first, but making steady progress. A creative confidence mindset becomes easier when you practice it regularly.

It has a bias towards action (even if it is not substantial). So one needs to embrace this bias towards action! 

You could set a creative goal, such as capturing at least one new idea or inspiration in a daily journal for the next one month. Try out at least one idea in a rough manner. Share this with few friends to get feedback, prototype, and iterate a couple of times, and see what emerges!

Do not let fear and inertia hold you back from being creative!

Think of today as a Prototype. What would you change?

(If you have any thoughts/ideas do comment below this article, to inspire others)

Stay Creative! Stay Relevant!

PS: If you are keen to explore more in the space of Creative Confidence, do join us for a free 60 min webinar on March 25, Wed 6-7 pm.

Register here: https://lnkd.in/ffuXtVv

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