Non Standard Leadership Techniques

Being Creative and Encouraging Innovation in Your Business

Alicia Fruin asked:

When running your own small business, we are often called to be creative and innovative. Without this ability, I have discovered it is nearly impossible to be successful, let alone stay afloat. This innovative and creative spirit is especially important to small business owners because they do not have the kind of budgets the big corporations can play with. Small business owners are required to craft new and innovative ways to get the most “bang for their buck” whether that be refurbishing old unsuccessful projects into successful ones, cutting costs without cutting corners, and of course, thinking of new ways of marketing or boosting sales.

While most of the small business owners I work with do embody this innovative spirit, they often forget to foster this spirit throughout their company. To run efficiently and productively as possible, they need their entire team to be on the same creative page.

In Adrian Brown’s “Creativity & Innovation” he highlights five characteristics that he has observed in creative organizations. All of which I believe are important not just for large corporations, but especially for small business. They are:

1. “Information is free flowing: Creativity is partially about making new connections. For example: applying a familiar technology to a completely new application.”

2. “New ideas are welcomed: It is easy for individuals and companies to become stuck in its ways. Habitual behaviors, a rigid adherence to “best practices and groupthink can all act as barriers to new ideas

3. “Good ideas are nurtured: New ideas are delicate and can easily be killed off with an executive shrug or simply a lack of care and attention”….

4. “Risk taking is accepted”: “Experimentation and innovation involve some failures along the way. Risk taking doesn’t mean being reckless, rather it means understanding the risk/reward relationship and taking calculated risks where the potential rewards are valuable.”

5. “Innovators are rewarded: Creativity is hard to measure and can often be ignored by compensation and reward systems.” However, often it is enough to publicly recognize creativity with a simple thank you for a job well done, believe it or not, this sends a powerful message through your organization.

It helps to remember “you are not alone.” Remember, it is important to not only tap into your own creativity; but also your staff or team’; you may be surprised at the ideas they may have to boost your business!

If you are looking for more ways to develop your personal creativity, or that of your team, I recommend that you enroll in an online course that is part of Profit Consulting Co.’s “Creativity & Innovation” program. This convenient and easy to use program expands on Brown’s major themes and provides interactive exercises, additional readings, and offers learners hands-on exercises to spur personal creativity.

This is just one of the many programs of study we have recently added to our website! ( We also feature courses in Business Communications, Leadership, Finance, and Management. These courses are affordably priced, 100% web based and in a self-study format allowing you to improve your creative, business, or management skills at your own convenience.

About the Author Alicia Fruin

Alicia is the owner of Profit Consulting Co., a Business Education Company. They offer small business coaching, consulting and training. Alicia has designed over 80 customized training programs and led these programs for hundreds of business owners around the country in a variety of industries. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales people on how to build a business truly worth having!

Recommended Reading: “Creativity & Innovation” by Adrian Brown

“The things we fear most in organizations — fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret J. Wheatley


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