Creativity is your business superpower

08 May 2024

Alex Fish
Alex Fish
Type: Text
Category: Industry insights

This article was written by Marcus Simmons, Course Leader for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management MSc.

Creativity is an essential component for a successful business, yet many creative students are not aware of this and often under-estimate the value their skills bring to business.

What is creativity?

A dictionary definition of creativity is “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”. This very broad definition reflects a very wide spectrum of creative activities without seeking to evaluate their merit or value. Children set a great example of the joy of creativity – they just love creating anything from paintings and models to sandcastles and dens and have great fun doing it.

By the time we start looking at creative businesses we become very focussed on the value of creative output. This can range from freelance creators selling their own work, such as paintings, jewellery or photographs, to creative employees producing design work for products, advertisements or marketing campaigns producing value for others.

Falmouth university has many ‘creative’ courses where students can hone their creativity with a focus on specific areas like film and tv, fashion and textiles, art and design. The most obvious career choices for students with these skills lies within the course discipline, but very few ‘creative’ students I speak to are aware of how valuable creative skills are within the world of business.

What value does creativity have in business?

There are many examples of creative activity leading to significant ‘business’ success. Just think of your favourite bands, films, books and fashion brands – they all represent significant success in businesses. But these traditional creative industries are dwarfed by a new kid on the creative block – the gaming industry, which was worth over $200 billion 2022.

I talk to hundreds of creative students each year, many with ambitions to work within the creative sector as either an employee or a freelancer. But few think of themselves as potential business leaders or startup founders and frequently underestimate the value they bring to a business. As a former creative student myself (BA(Hons) Product Design) I found many of the skills creatives take for granted proved highly valuable in business. For example, most creatives can produce very high-quality visuals to help communicate design ideas or other concepts in presentations. But creativity has much greater value that great visuals. This value is very well summed up by Jason Hennessey in a recent Forbes article:

As the leader of your business, you’re the visionary who develops the ideas that drive your business to success. Creativity is the one role you fill that no one else on your team can do for you, and it’s also how you offer the greatest value to your business. Without creativity, it’s impossible to innovate.

- Jason Hennessey: Entrepreneur, author, podcast host, business coach and CEO of Hennessey Digital

Creativity in business start-up

Successful startups often have three founders: a commercial person to sell the products, a tech person to develop solutions and a creative person to make imaginative products.

By far the hardest bit is finding that great idea and turning it into something people want to buy, but this is where creatives can really shine. All those times they have set out to produce new work, story-boarded concepts and refined solutions all help them create new products or services people really want and need. Once you have a great product it is relatively simple to build a great team and find resources as people are always attracted to working with, and investing in, great creative products.

Want to try out your startup skills?

The MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management course at Falmouth University has a long history of helping creatives develop their business ideas into viable business startups. In recent years we have helped Falmouth graduates from Communication, Film & TV and the games academy. So, why not you?

About Marcus

Marcus works within the Cornwall Business School and is the Course Leader for our Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management MSc.

Marcus is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur who in 2016 swapped the board room for the classroom and found a new passion – educating students in the exciting, challenging and rewarding world of entrepreneurship.

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Marcus Simmons

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