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Last week I gave a keynote speech at a customer summit in Germany. I started off by showing a large red heart—a metaphor for the importance of passion and inspiration in a creative performance process.

I claimed that creative performances results in more innovation—and innovation increases a company’s competitiveness in the long term. Everyone seemed to agree. I then asked the audience “Do you think you will be more creative in the future than you are today? If so please stand up.”. About 70 percent of the 200 people strong audience thought they would be more innovative in the future than they are today—actually quite a promising result. My next questions to the people now standing up were:

How will you be more innovative?” What’s your investment strategy in processes, methodologies and company culture to allow innovation to flourish? How do you plan to involve your customers to generate more profitable innovations?

My question to the remaining 30% of the audience, still sitting down, was both short and frank: “How does your business plan to survive?”

Ask yourself—will I or my company be more creative in the future than we are today, and if so, how will it happen? And how can I as an individual contribute? Researchers have identified four dimensions as the distinguishing signs of creativity, to understand the intrinsic qualities of creative performance;

  • Originality – the element of newness of an idea
  • Value – the extent to which an idea solves a perceived problem
  • Realization – the ease of developing an idea into a commercial product
  • Number of ideas – a measure of divergent thinking

I will come back to discuss these dimensions in more detail in coming posts to inspire and motive you in your creative processes.

Guest speaker at the customer summit was Sven Fischer, the world’s greatest biathlon athlete. He made a fabulous presentation on how biathlon, in just a few years, has evolved into one of the most popular winter sport games—both live and on TV. Sven and I had a good chat afterwards and I hope to get back to you with some reflections on how passion and inspiration are the incentives for peak performances—both in sport and in business.

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