If you are an entrepreneur, business person, working on a job or career; creativity and innovation is your ticket to the very top in 2013. Your career and business success will depend on creativity and innovation. A 2010 major IBM survey of more than 1500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries across the globe revealed than over the next five years, more than anything else creativity is the element required for business success. They recognize creativity as the No. 1 leadership competency organizations need going into the future. Steve Jobs once said that “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.Now that we have established that to turbocharge your career, grow your business, be a great leader, get to the top of the career ladder, and succeed at work you need creativity, lets get to how you can be creative.So how do you get creative? Here’s how.1. Be Unique:You already are unique but now you need to explore your uniqueness, understand it, and leverage it. You will become more creative as you embrace the person that you are and the configuration of abilities and talents you possess. Every thing you were born with, what you have learned over the years, experienced, grown into as a result of structured and unstructured learning is unique and gives you a creative platform different from any other person.The first step therefore is to understand yourself and get to know your personality and its composition. Then explore elements along the line of your unique capabilities, skills, and competencies.2. Own It:You know how we tend to work with other people’s deadlines and how we sometimes blame external factors for our shortcomings? Now, to be truly creative you need to see yourself as the only one responsible for your outcomes. That level of responsibility will unleash your creativity. Take responsibility – own it in every sense and get down to work.3. Change Your Thinking Patterns:The way you approach problems and the thinking pattern you employ to find solutions determines your outcome. When you use mind maps for your thinking, you fuel your creativity. Mind maps are visual thinking tools that serve as a trigger device for your brain, creating an explosion in creativity and innovation. They maximize the power of your brain by allowing you to view many elements simultaneously and thereby increase the probability of creative association and integration, and consequently, innovation. Mind mapping encourages your brain to track out ideas which would normally lie on the edge of your thinking. When you use mind maps, you tend to stray from the norm and explore unconventional routes and in the process produce innovative ideas.4. Evolve:Do not be a dinosaur. If technological advancements have taught us anything, it is that there is always a better version of the idea you currently have. Realize that every problem has a solution and there is a better version of your current idea. All you need to do is to get it out from your brain where its locked. Brainstorming using mind mapping helps a great deal to maximize the power of your brain and get out innovative ideas.5. Bin Market Research and Go For Lateral Thinking:Companies typically conduct market research to first understand consumer needs and then create products and services to meet those needs. In our lives and at work we tend to follow the same pattern even unconsciously; we find out what is required and deliver on it. What if people do not even know what is required till you create it? I recently read a 1974 article by Tauber that explained how marketing research discourages major innovation. Creativity in 2013 will entail out of the box lateral thinking. To become creative, do not just fill a need that has already been defined, go beyond that. Fulfil the requirements that are already defined, and go beyond that by digging into your creative mode to create solutions, processes, products, systems, and ideas and demonstrate how why it is required.6. Invest Discipline and Energy:Work on it. Work on ideas, work on creativity. Be perceptive. Be willing to put in time, effort, and energy into your creativity. Make it a priority and set aside the investment of time.7. Actively Document:We get more ideas than we give ourselves credit for. It may sound elementary but from now carry a small notebook and pen around with you. When you get an idea, write it down. Observe more in the environment, surroundings, in interactions, in your personal reflection. We are always getting ideas. A few days ago I got an idea on how to improve my SEO from watching an episode of an old tv series. Great ideas can come to you anywhere and at any time.A combination of these seven elements will ensure that you become creative and equipped to succeed in 2013. Remember, creativity will rule in 2013.