Creativity in Negotiations and Business

John Cousins
8 min readAug 5, 2018
Creative thinking is a skill that can be developed and improved.

Negotiating is a creative act. To navigate conflict and strike a sustainable win-win agreement you need to think creatively. Creative thinking is a skill that can be developed and improved. Creativity is not just for artists and musicians.

Commercial enterprises need to create new products and services that have value for customers. Innovation and invention require novel ideas. Businesses need to solve problems and overcome obstacles. All solutions to problems start as ideas. These are all creative endeavors.

All solutions to problems start as ideas.

Creativity is usually thought of as an innate talent that people are born with. People are either creative or not, the thinking goes. Creativity is shrouded in mystery and the creative process in mystical mumbo jumbo.

There is the romantic idea of the lone creative genius who has a Eureka moment and something entirely new pops into their head. But creativity is actually synthetic, meaning it is a process that takes known ideas and combines them in a novel way. And this type of creativity can be learned, developed and improved upon.

Creativity is a name for the process of putting concepts and ideas together in new ways. It is a form of systems thinking. It has to do with pattern recognition and pattern forming. It has to do with taking ideas that work in one domain and applying them in another. This is how creativity performs the synthesis of using existing ideas and concepts as raw material and extruding new ideas.

Sir Isaac Newton who invented calculus and physics, two giant ideas that revolutionized our world, said “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”