Is Creativity our last real Advantage?

I attended a Business Luncheon recently, with one interest and one interest alone, to hear Todd Sampson speak. The CEO of Leo Burnett Advertising is a regular panellist on the Gruen Planet, a television program discussing and making fun (for the most part) of the advertising and marketing world.

The man seems to have a particularly simple way of making sense of issues and it always seems to resonate with me. This time around it was going to be creativity.

If you stop and think about it for a while Sampson’s right. Technology has now allowed us access to so much, it has allowed any business to communicate to its audience via social media, when previously it would have taken big pockets of money via advertising, etc. 

Technology has also provided us the ability to learn far quicker than previously – The information we need is literally at our fingertips. The difference in marketing campaigns, within reason, is creativity.

[Enter Asian accent] I think I know you! You Rhonda, you good driver [Exit Asian accent]. If you don’t know what I am talking about (you probably think I’m nuts), this is from the AAMI Car Insurance campaign running across TV and a few other platforms.. It is creativity. This is why the agency that delivered this campaign is getting paid the big bucks!

This brings us to a couple of issues in today’s business environment, are we employing creativity? It’s sometimes mentioned on a Resume or CV but if it is it is almost never demonstrated.

Do you have creativity in your workplace? Are you encouraging creativity?

The problem in today’s environment is that creativity is not something that is encouraged. It is something that some employees have and some don’t. At least that’s how it’s viewed.

Encouraging CreativityIf you’re not quite following me, I suggest you go and watch a TED Talk by designer David Kelley titled ‘How to build your creative confidence‘, he suggests that creativity is not the domain of a chosen few.

“Don’t let the world divide people into creatives and non-creatives, like it’s some God given thing. Help people realise that they are naturally creative.” said Kelley.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, start encouraging creativity in your business and start doing it now. If in fact, creativity is the last real advantage as Todd Sampson put it, then why ignore the potential creativity in your existing employees. You never know where the next great idea is going to come from.

UPDATE: Came across this video on Vimeo, which is an adaptation of Jonah Lehrer’s book ‘Imagine’. As far as discussion on creativity, this is well worth watching also.


Is Creativity our last real Advantage?

by Quentin Aisbett time to read: 2 min