Though he was speaking to an audience of association executives, entrepreneur and speaker Josh Linkner’s presentation this morning at NAR’s AE Institute in San Diego, Calif., was applicable to anyone who works in real estate. Linkner, who has started and invested in a number of technology companies over the past two decades, says a problem plaguing not only this industry but the entire business world is a lack of creative thinking.
According to Linkner, virtually everyone has some capacity for creativity. However, from an early age, this instinct is suppressed by external forces — particularly school and work. “Our creativity is declining,” he says. “We don’t grow into creativity, we’re growing out of it. The lesson society teaches us is to not be creative, just do what your told and don’t take risks.”
This is a huge issue, though, because creativity and innovation have become more critical than ever before. In a recent survey of 1,500 CEOs around the world, creativity was cited as the most important attribute of leadership today, Linkner says. Moreover, the tendency to do things the way they’ve always been done and avoid taking chances is a recipe for disaster in a rapidly changing business environment.
“Playing it safe has become the riskiest move of all,” he explains. “If you run that game plan in the real world, it’s a surefire path to mediocrity.”
In his presentation, Linkner offered the following five tips for people who want to accelerate their business through creativity: Continue reading »
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Companies such as Apple, Google, and Leo Burnett have a well-deserved reputation for creativity and innovation. From the outside looking in, it may seem like these institutions are creative because they hire creative people. That may be true to some extent, but they’ve also built it into their culture and processes.
Real estate associations — not to mention companies — of all kinds are just as capable of being creative, said Allison Linney, president of organizational development consultancy Allison Partners, who spoke yesterday morning at the Association Executives Institute event in Louisville, Ky.
Many organizations dismiss the notion of increasing creativity because they believe it’s limited mostly to young people and a select few talented, older professionals. Not so, Linney said. To be sure, young people do have a “beginner’s mind” that makes them more open to new experiences and ideas, and much less afraid to fall on their faces, figuratively and literally. But most people have some level of innate creativity — it’s just a matter of finding ways to tap that. A big part of bringing that out of your employees is making it clear that it’s OK to make mistakes and fail along the way.
Some other companies might be hesitant to devote significant amounts time and energy to ideation because it seems impractical when there are so many more immediate tasks to take on. Linney had two arguments to counter this. The first is that time spent in creative reflection will produce better, more innovative solutions for problems and processes, and ultimately save time and effort in the future. The second is that involving employees in creative exercises will increase their engagement and motivation.
Linney identified the following four steps for creative problem-solving: Continue reading »