Entrepreneurs need to think creatively. Creativity is all about coming up with ideas that offer a competitive advantage. A competitive advantage should be unique and not easy to copy. It could be a unique word, a unique design or something as common as customer service but unique because of the manner in which it is delivered.
Tangible and Intangible Competitive Advantage
A competitive advantage can be tangible or non tangible. A tangible competitive advantage is something physical which you can touch, hold or posses such as a piece of machinery or premises. Whilst intangible competitive advantages can not be held, they are not physical items. Examples of an intangible competitive advantage include corporate strategy, management expertise or ability to innovate. Some commentators assert that an intangible competitive advantage is more valuable than a tangible competitive advantage because it is harder to copy (than a tangible advantage) and if managed well will appreciate over time
When a business uses techniques to generate creativity it is called deliberate creativity. We discuss different types of deliberate creativity below.
Lateral Thinking Or "Thinking Out of The Box"
Lateral thinking is about rejecting conventional ways to do something and using your creative "juices" to solve a problem or improve a situation. Children often use lateral thinking as they are often unaware of "conventional wisdom". Lateral thinking involves throwing away assumptions but it doesn't mean that you have to come up with complicated solutions. In fact when an effective solution has been found it usually seems like the simplest and most obvious solution.
Blue Skies Thinking
Blue skies thinking is about coming up with ideas that are based on a question, object or ideas. One way of using an object is to place the object on the table and listing words associated with the object. Each of the words in the list will be analysed to solve the problem. Under blue skies thinking every idea (no matter how silly or wacky) is worthy of consideration as sometimes the relevance of something isn't always obvious. You can't always tell what an idea or comment will lead to.