In today's beauty industry – as with so many others – the appearance of "more of the same" can be a death knell. So the pressure is on to innovate or be left in a vulnerable position, but many companies mistakenly think that an "original" idea is the only way to escape a downward spiral.
This basic misunderstanding can be extremely costly in terms of both time and resources. In fact, there are very few people (or ideas) that are truly original — it's a remarkably high bar to clear. Da Vinci and Einstein were originals, and as most would argue, we have yet to see their equals. But that doesn't mean that the great scientific minds that have followed since have not delivered immeasurable value to science, or society at large.
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Not everyone can be original, but almost everybody can be creative and come up with something that will make a marked difference to them, their industry, their community, the world. This type of creativity, though, transcends the classic group brainstorming sessions, which are — more often than not — a complete waste of time. The key is in lateral thinking and being open to new ideas.