John Chen is the CEO of Blackberry and made the following statement: “Customers and the market will only respond if you’re innovating again”. Innovation is what make companies money! Think about some of our most creative companies and look at their stock prices:

  • Google- $598.26/ share
  • Apple-$101.73/ share
  • Amazon-$328.21/ share
  • Tesla- $252.14/ share

It’s easy to make the excuse that the industry our company is in does not allow one to be creative, but look at the list above. We have an internet search engine, hardware, online sales and a car company that are all SMASHING THE BOX and making money. More importantly, these companies value CREATIVITY.

The value for creative thinking can’t be underestimated. Whether it is planning a new marketing strategy, product launch, designing new processes and procedures or a PowerPoint presentation we need originality. Original ideas that have value are what companies are looking for like Blackberry. How do we generate new ideas?

First, we must identify what is keeping us in our head/box. For many, it’s where we place our focus. When we have our focus on us and our problems it makes it more difficult to enter a creative space. We must get the focus off of us and onto others to escape our head/box. The reason being when we operate from our head/box our intellect often times works opposite the creative process. The mind censors, operates from fear and wants approval all of which work against a creative environment.

Second, we must take risks. Risk taking is paramount to being creative and this element is missing in corporate America. From my friends, colleagues and employees in corporate America from whom I talk to all have one thing in common: they want to limit their risk. Playing it safe is the problem! Without big and bold risks one will stay in their comfort zone and creativity will forever be elusive. To come up with the next big idea one needs to take risks and not play it safe.

Third, begin experimenting and exploring. We need to try new things, ideas, processes and procedures if we are to truly come up with something original that has value. Experimentation and exploration are the cornerstones to creativity and must be present in the process of creativity. The more one allows oneself to make mistakes and fail the more creative they will become in the process.

This is exactly what John Chen is doing at Blackberry. Today they just announced a new phone called the Passport and it is square in design and looks different than a traditional smart phone. The phone is much wider in design which allows the reader a better experience when viewing spreadsheets, graphs and videos in that the screen has more width.

Now will this phone be a success? We shall see. The point is John Chen is experimenting and exploring and if successful his company will be reaping the profits from risk taking. Blackberry’s stock price since John Chen took over has skyrocketed over the last year. I am glad a CEO of John Chen’s stature recognizes the importance of creativity in the workplace.