The most valuable asset that you have: your opinion

When I ask to give me a summary report to the people who works for me I always ask to have their opinion on the subject. The reason is simple: I give you this task because I believe you are competent for the task assigned and I expect from you a professional result. And if you have to give me back a professional result, then you have to be professional in a complete and competent way – basically in this moment you are a consultant who is paid for giving back a service. When you pay a consultant, you are not paying him only for the service, you are paying him for his reputation, for his capabilities, for his history of achievements and so on. When I ask you a report I’m asking you the same. I want you to be my consultant.

When you are offering your service to someone, you have to try to give your best and you have to put on the table all your capabilities and all your experience in order to demonstrate that you are competent and to maximize the return that you can get from the service offered. And one the most important assets that you have is your experience, your capabilities and your reputation. And according to that you have all the rights to express your opinion. Moreover, because your opinion is the synthesis of your past experience, of your knowledge and your expertise, your opinion is very valuable and probably is the most valuable asset that you have because it represents the sinthesis of your knowledge. So you have to use that asset.

This is valid at all level of the organizations. For managers, for employees and also for manual and repetitive jobs. The opinion of the worker in the assembly line is very valuable because he’s the most involved in the manufacturing process and could see things that a lot of managers are not even able to guess.

So remember, your opinion is very important and very valuable,  it is the expression of your brand and it is a very important asset that requires investments (improvement and knowledge development) but that must used in order to create profits and maximize your return on investments that in this case is your unique life experience.

Do you really believe to not have enough creativity?

The title of this post is a kind of provocation. As my friend said in his post “importance of creativity”, creativity is fundamental in today competitive world.

I’m pretty sure that a lot of people if put in front of the question “are you a creative person?” would probably answer “no, not at all” or I can imagine a lot of persons who shares my background (electronic engineering) that probably will answer “of course not I’m a concrete person and I look at facts, formulas and numbers…”.

Well, probably few months ago my answer would have been the same, but after some months spent during my MBA the answer is a little different.

So what is it creativity? Well the answer is not easy and I’m not pretending to give you a complete and exhaustive definition, I just want to illustrate my point of view.

The word “creativity” comes from “to create”, so we can say that a creative person is someone able to create something. But in order to create something you need to have a base, a background, something to start from. We can imagine that creativity is very similar to the drawings that kids make. What they do is to try to represent the world according to what they know and according to the stimulus that they have received in their life. And it is impressive how the quality of the drawings improves the more they practice and the older they became. The reason is that they start to fill their background with more and more information and the new drawings start to be more complex, more precise and more “creative”. Basically they have more and more contents where to pick up something in order to create something new, or at least that looks new from their point of view.

When you became an adult the process is almost the same. The process of creativity is simply the ability to put together all your knowledge in order to create something that is out of the box, that looks different or that is different, but different from the point of view of the others which are observing “the creation”.

So keeping in mind my initial question “are you a creative person?” the answer is “of course I am”. I am a person with a unique combination of knowledge and this unique combination is giving me all the bases for been a creative person.

I’m really convinced that everybody is a creative person, the problem is that a lot of people don’t even realize that and tends to think always in the same way or to give up at the first problem. Being creative is not easy, it’s hard because first of all you must improve your base knowledge and secondly you have to force yourself to look out of the box, to think differently (or laterally) and to use all your ability to create connections, to pick up from different subjects, to use every insignificant piece of knowledge you have acquired in order “to create something that nobody has done before”.