Creativity vs. Structure: Is One More Important in Business?
Let’s think about a question: “which is more important when it comes to business; a structured environment driven by stats and intelligence, or a creative environment where ideas flow freely and structure is malleable?”
Kind of an essay question, isn’t it? In fact, our thoughts on this issue could easily fill up 20 blogs, but for today the task is condensing them into about 500 words. What do you think the answer is. Or, more importantly, is there one?
The impulsive, rigid sort might say that structure is important in business whereas creativity is of course the smaller of the two potatoes. Structure, statistics, reasoning…this is the foundation of business, is it not? It’s all about facts and figures, who makes the most and how do they make more?
The innovative, millennial crowd might say no sir to this kind of thought. No, businesses are going through drastic changes. Free form, creative structures are more beneficial now, and less rigid atmospheres are more positive and productive. Creativity is king!
But what’s our answer? Simply put, both and neither.
Structure is important for creativity. You need to be able to be creative while still working towards a goal in business. It’s not like you can sit in a room with a canvas for three years, working on your magnum opus that will never be truly complete. Too much freedom actually restricts creativity.
Imagine you’re trapped in a well with only your clothing and a book of matches. How do you get out? Wouldn’t you have to think innovatively in order to Macgyver your way out of that situation?
Now imagine you’re stuck in that well with unlimited time to escape and an endless amount of supplies at your disposal from a helping hand above. Your ability to escape is easy, but were you creatively challenged?
We can flip-flop this line of thought now: structured and staunch business practices are also improved when creativity is brought into the mix. We often get so absorbed in best practices and the safe way to play the game of business that we don’t think about how all of this started in the first place. Innovation, and therefore creativity, breeds business and is how people discover new and better ways to do things.
Creativity has always existed within business. Business aspects like advertising, branding, marketing and campaign management have always required a creative touch. For every Twitter graphic you scroll past on your phone, and for every advertisement you watch nightly on television, a creative vision was involved. Creativity is how businesses make money.
In this case, creativity and structure have a symbiotic relationship in business. One simply cannot exist without the other. Creativity needs structure in order to be kept in check, and simultaneously structure needs creativity so innovation and forward movement can take place.
The next time someone sparks the debate over which is more important, a creative or a thinker, just remember: no matter what position you fit into, you matter– but so does the other person.