Sparking creativity in entrepreneurship
18 May 2017

In the era of disruption, creative, thought-provoking and out-of-the-box ideas stand out from the competition, and are often rewarded. When it comes to the lack of productivity in the local SME scene, the Singapore Business Review urges Singapore to use creativity “as a weapon to boost productivity and value”i.


Here’s how you can encourage creativity and productivity in your business:

Step out of your comfort zone


Unfamiliar settings can often lead to new ideas and inspiration. While staying within your comfort zone offers a “steady level of performance, in order to maximise performance…we need a state of relative anxiety”ii, which is usually obtained only when we step out of our comfort zone.


As Forbes’ Margie Warrell explains:

“In an increasingly competitive…world, those who are willing to … step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.” iii

Try your hand at creating


Entrepreneurship is founded on new, creative ideas. Try getting into the habit of creating new material and content through a medium of your choice. Consider brainstorming over a latte and easel at places like Cups and Canvas.


If you’re not confident about creating your own work from scratch, options like adult colouring give you a similar creative outlet. Not only is adult colouring a proven creativity enhancer, it also comes with other benefits such as increased focus and stress reliefiv.

Create a conducive office space


Although an open office space might seem like the logical solution to induce creativity, research shows that it can be counter-productive. Collaboration is a must for innovation, and is encouraged by open spaces, but employees also require privacy and focus to put their creative ideas into play. 

A global survey shows that only “11 percent of workers around the world are engaged and inspired at work.”

This small portion of engaged employees “balance collaboration and interaction with colleagues at the office and are working remotely to achieve the privacy they need for some of their individual work.”v For maximum productivity, strike a balance between open areas that inspire, and private spaces that give your team a quiet refuge to create.


Connect with other innovators


Riffing off like-minded people is a good way to get inspired. If you are in a co-working space, take advantage of the innovative environment and interact with other entrepreneurs. You could end up with new ideas, tips or even partnerships


Keep an open mind


For a business that’s truly creative, it is important not to limit the innovation to merely products and services. Thinking outside the box in terms of how you run your business can also be an indelible source of productivity. For example, instead of renting office space, opt for a coworking location instead.

In his article on using creative to solve business roadblocks, SBR’s Jeremy Han suggests rethinking what is deemed “impossible” as just something that is merely unprecedented. He advises SMEs to actively invest in nurturing creativity, citing people like SME boss Brunello Cucinello, who sponsors staff visits to cultural events. Although this might not work for all SMEs, ensure that your own business provides enough flexibility for creativity to blossom. 


Follow StarHub Business on Linkedin for the latest business updates.

SME Risk Management for sudden emergencies.

Internet downtime alone costs SMEs up to $100,000.

Read more
3 most profitable businesses to start in Singapore

Put those hipster café plans on hold.

Read more
Industry 4.0: The next manufacturing stage

Embrace the trend or get left behind.

Embrace the trend or get left behind
Read more