Today we’re launching our Ugly Conversations series, with our latest report ‘Ugly ideas, Beautiful outcomes: Why C-suite challenges need more creative thinking’. The report reveals an ugly truth across boardrooms; a resistance to change across the C-suite, despite the changing business landscape and the rise of new technology.
Our research shows that over a third (37%) of respondents think a ‘lack of innovation and creative thinking’ is the top internal barrier to overcoming business challenges. Verbatim responses like ‘a fear of taking risks’ and ‘unwillingness to move with the times’ substantiated this.
Meanwhile, 33% of respondents believe that “doing things the way they always have” is a barrier to overcoming challenges, highlighting the fear of change and taking risks across the board.
The survey polled 100 C-Suite business leaders on attitudes towards internal and external barriers to change, and what was needed to overcome them, as well as creative problem solving as an approach to overcoming business challenges.
Against a backdrop of rapid technological, social and economical change (and almost half of respondents concerned about uncertainty [46%]), businesses are finding themselves stuck, losing out to more agile and innovative competitors (38% noted this as a major barrier to change) and stalling growth.
Thinking about solutions, 42% said that a clearer brand vision and mission would be a vehicle to overcoming their business challenges. Often brand visions and missions are dated, staying the same over the years, becoming unfit for purpose overtime. There even seems to be an appetite for radical change, with data showing that two thirds (66%) believe unconventional problem-solving is a risk worth taking.
Whilst the report revealed some apprehension towards creative approaches (as opposed to linear logic driven problem solving), 44% of leaders acknowledged innovative solutions and a stronger competitive advantage (44%) as potential benefits of creative problem solving.
Sarah Dear, CEO and Co-Founder at Born Ugly, said:
“The data we’ve gathered supports the notion – somewhat unsurprisingly – that many businesses need to step away from what they have been doing for years and shake it up in order to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing world. This is particularly pertinent during the turbulent times we’re living through - the results highlight that agility and creativity is needed to successfully overcome business challenges.
“By thinking about problems creatively, businesses can find their own space in a crowded, turbulent market, and define and differentiate their organisation. Challenging the ‘old way is the best way’ mentality means giving unlikely ideas a chance, which ultimately can pay off.”
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