Someone once described Innovation as the practical application of Creativity. I am not sure that this is the only definition, but for me it resonates. A good friend of mine ( wrote a book) that discussed the nature of innovation. He unearthed several different classes of innovation that may or may not be appropriate to an organization. Creativity – they say – is going to be our salvation. Creativity – they say – is going to save America – save the Western World – Save Capitalism – Save the World. It’s a big ask. Why – because Creativity – even of itself does nothing.
Twenty-Five Years ago I wrote and presented to a large US Defence Contractor as to the role of Creativity in the Communications Process. The central theme was that ‘Creativity’ – without application is wonderful – it should never stop – BUT – unless it is harnessed and applied then it will do nothing for us.
More recently (in the past 10 years – which means – according to Malcolm Gladwells’s thesis at least – I am now an expert), I have been working with Creative people in the US, Europe, Africa and the Far East.
Sometimes they are the creatives themselves. Sometimes they are business who think they need ‘a dose of creativity’ to unlock their corporate plumbing. Sometimes they are truly creative organizations that are opening their eyes to the fact that there are different ways of looking at the challenges in front of us.
And during this work, it has become apparent that although we tend associate creative professionals with the arts – a writer, photographer, artist, videographer – the fact is that Creative Professionals are everywhere – we just need to wake up and spot them.
And you recognize them because they; tend to think outside of the box and are; non-conformist, visionary, questioning … I am sure you can come up with your own attributes of ‘creatives’ – and then try an exercise – map those attributes back to people you know. Yourself even!
And against this thinking, let me share this story.
About ‘n’ years ago (where ‘n’ is a significantly large number) – I came up with The 4Cs of ‘Communication’ – which is to say – anything that gets produced has to pass the sniff test of whether the final piece is …
- Creative – to stand out from the crowd (IT’S A CLUTTERED BUSY NOISY WORLD)
- Clever – to tie it back to the messaging (RULE ONE – ALWAYS ON MESSAGE)
- Consistent – to reaffirm and continually promote the brand (BRANDS COST MONEY – MAXIMISE THE USE)
- Complete – in that NOTHING should be exempt from these rules in all and everything we are and do – now
and in the future – ie; Continuously and Continually (there is a difference) across the space-time Continuum (ok – I was pushing it)
I then developed this further – to a fifth an ‘final’ ‘C’.
The Content must also be Customer focussed [ because if it isn’t they won’t pay attention to begin with (SPEAK IN THEIR VOICE) ]
And now I am beginning to extend that thought further ….
You Also Need To …
- Conceive the idea to begin with
- Capture ideas, thoughts, waves …
- Concept / Conceptualize to help describe the outcome
- Collaborate to improve – no man is an island
And Then There’s More …
- Challenge / Challenges
- Connect / Connection / Connector
- Consumer – UGH
- Curate / Curator
A Communication Architecture that I will map into the Customer Effective Demand Network models that I also write about.