I firmly believe that we are in the early stages of a new economy, one where the most valuable talent you can bring to the table is being an “idea person.” Knowledge is quickly becoming a commodity (think of the thousands of highly capable educational institutions springing up in India, China, and other areas of the world), and simply being well educated is no longer as valuable as it used to be. In order to keep ahead you need to be able to access and use your creative ability to help your organization address its challenges, continuously coming up with new ideas. This applies even if you’ve always assumed you aren’t creative.
People imagine that ideas come easily to those blessed with creative powers. This is nonsense. Creativity is hard work. Anyone who works in a creative field such as art, architecture, or fashion knows that it takes a hundred scrunched-up, tossed-behind-the-desk rejected sketches to come up with one good one. The same happens when you create ideas for your business or products. Rather than waiting for that “magic moment,” take what you can learn from others such as this site, my blog or podcast, practice it, and then use it. The result is that you will have officially rebranded yourself as a “creative,” and you will therefore think like one—which means being fearless about generating ideas and putting them down on paper.
But don’t stop there.
Take those ideas you have generated and then execute. Competitive advantage doesn’t come from ideas in notebooks or patents applied for but in the .execution of your ideas. Those that can out execute their competition are the winners in this new economy.