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Creativity: Learned or Innate?

By February 20, 2018March 5th, 2021Uncategorized

Do you need to hire a creative mind or can you and your current employees learn to be creative?



The days of a good product or service succeeding by itself have passed. Businesses need creativity in every aspect from start to sell. Sparking the question: How can your business its improve creativity?



Do you need to hire a creative mind or can you and your current employees learn to be creative? This question is highly debated. However, no matter the answer, you will improve creativity in both yourself and in your employees if you BELIEVE you can.

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset” is exactly that. An individual who believes they can develop their talents, including those in creativity: “I’ll try it, I can improve my creativity.” Unlike someone with a predominately fixed mindset, who assumes their DNA determines their abilities: “I can’t do that, I’m not creative.”

However, these two mindsets are not mutually exclusive. As Dweck states, “Everyone is actually a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets… A ‘pure’ growth mindset doesn’t exist,” (Dweck, 2016). No matter how prevalent you perceive your growth mindset to be, certain situations trigger you to shut down (The Atlantic). When this happens, awareness of the situation can prevent you from falling into your fixed mindset and allowing your growth mindset to reemerge.

The Growth Mindset and Your Employees

Not only can the growth mindset help improve your own talents, research shows it can boost your company’s atmosphere as well. The Harvard Business Review reports that “growth-mindset firms have happier employees and more innovative, risk taking culture.” When companies embody a growth mindset, employees collaborate more, a crucial element in improving creativity.

The Growth Mindset and Your Business

Why are most businesses failing to promote growth mindsets? The process to adopt one is slightly difficult; mission statements won’t cover it. Your company must fully commit to the growth mindset and the specific ways of rewarding effort.

Effort alone does not produce a successful business (Dweck, 2016). You need to reward the learning process, collaboration, innovation, risk-taking, and individual development (The Atlantic). However, many companies have retained their talent-oriented structures, which encourage more cheating and deception, and less collaboration among employees (Dweck, 2016). Creativity sprouts when no one fears they will lose their job over wrong or inferior ideas.

Whether or not creativity is a learned or innate ability, believing that your people can grow and improve their creativity is the first step in achieving your goals. A growth mindset won’t directly cause creativity; however, the mindset builds a foundation that encourages abilities to develop. The next step? Learn from creative people (like us at Big Red Jelly) who can guide you on your business’ journey to creativity!