<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Continuous_Improvement_Icon.gif"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1006" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Continuous_Improvement_Icon-150x150.gif" alt="Continuous_Improvement_Icon" width="150" height="150" /></a>... an ever growing number of them ....
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.
<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/2012/08/the-c-suite-clever/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A while back I posted this</a> - which in turn references some thinking of mine that goes back 20 years or more.
Then yesterday as I was catching up on some Instapaper reading I discovered this little gem.
I actually think that most people don’t realize or think about the difference between Drawing and Illustration. They think they’re the same. They’re not. Drawing is an act, whereas Illustration (as I define it) is a profession. Illustration *can* involve drawing (it can expand beyond drawing too, obviously), but it’s actually the act of thinking and problem solving. I think I’ve mentioned this before but Tim O’Brien once said something to the effect that the sketch-phase of a project IS the Illustration… I couldn’t agree more, despite my work being incredibly different from Tim O’Brien’s.
I just want to add that to me the ‘drawing’ is the creative process – the idea generation – the brainstorming mode – and has no limitations. Thus drawings have no restrictions placed upon them. They are unto themselves ‘it’.
Illustration moves to the ‘clever’ phase – in my model. The clever ties that open free for all thinkning into the message that needs to be conveyed. I am not saying drawing is not clever – cannot be clever. Clever is simply stage 2 in my communication process. How do I take that drawing and tie it back to everything else that is important to my communications.
<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/customer-centricity.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1422" title="customer-centricity" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/customer-centricity-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>A while back I started writing about a method called The 4 CS that I came up with longer ago than I care to admit to - with a focus on
My focus throughout my career has been the customer and I remain customer centric in all that I do. To quote my own bio “no matter where he is focussed at any given moment, he knows that nothing can be managed in isolation and always approaches the challenges holistically, not as a ‘point solution’. As he says “While there are many things that can make an organization successful, it is often contextual. The core focus for success has to be your customer and the corollary – not understanding your customer – will maximize the ‘opportunity for failure’.”
<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/complete.png"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1273" title="complete" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/complete-150x150.png" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>This is the fourth and final post for this week as we <strong>conclude</strong> this part of the C-Suite journey.
When building any kind of communication device, I wrote earlier about the need to be creative, clever and consistent. The fourth and final aspect of consideration within your immediate control is that of being complete.
Being complete is related to the consistency argument – but introduces the temporal idea that it should connect not just with what is around it now – but has been in the past – and will be in the future.
You are after-all telling a story. So make sure that your device isn’t hanging out by itself. Leverage the other great work that is there and let the whole story take shape. Think of your piece as part of a saga of books – it should connect the pieces together.
Have a great weekend – and catch up with you next week.
<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Consistent.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1266" title="Consistent" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Consistent-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>So you have put together the singularly most awesome earth shattering piece of <strong>communication</strong> - absolutely designed to rise above the <strong>clutter</strong> and shine like the beacon it is. In a nut shell - the <a href="http://beyondbridges.net/2012/08/the-c-suite-creativity/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>creativity</strong></a> to make it stand out is epic!
Not only that – but you have been really clever and ensured that it is not only epically awesome – but that it ties into the core messaging that is what your organization is all about.
Done! Right? Well – not so fast.
To ensure that the piece is consistent is equally important.
All of your communications relate to each other and connect to each other, at all levels including (alphabetically to ensure that no single item is focussed on to the exclusion of the others) …
Making your new piece consistent is the third factor. It needs to be – must be – is essential to be – consistent with every other piece that surrounds it so that the amplification, memorability and use is maximized.
<a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/clever.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-1253" title="clever" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/clever-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></a>I started writing this short series yesterday with a little introduction focussed on <strong><a href="http://beyondbridges.net/2012/08/the-c-suite-creativity/">Creativity</a>.</strong>
Today, I want to extend that thought into the concept of something that builds on creativity. You have created your piece it is rising above the cacaphony, the clutter of life – but if it doesn’t connect with what you are about as a person, an organisation, an enterprise a charity …. whatever it is – then so what?
As I suggested yesterday – being creative is hard enough – but it must connect – you to your audience. That’s why it needs to be clever.
Clever – so that the creativity touched back to the core of your campaign, your programme, your message.
An extreme example ? Most people would agree that Picasso was creative. But. Simply using a piece of his art to catch attention and rise above the clutter will do nothing.
As an example – what would Guernica be saying about your product ?
A Creative and CleverCampaign or Communication would absolutely rise above the clutter AND – once attention has been gained – the audience will understand how that piece ties into the essence of the message you are conveying.
At the risk of overusing Apple as an example – consider the original iPod ads. Creative? Absolutely. They rapidly separated themselves from the clutter that surrounded them. Clever? Totally. What you saw was a simple message – 1,000 songs in your pocket, outlined images of people enjoying themselves – listening to music – dancing in a very very simple way – one of the core messages of Apple.
Being ‘Creative‘ is the first of a five point tenet around communications that I developed 25 years ago.
Even then the world was cluttered – and my contention was – and is – that creativity is essential to ensure that a piece of communications stands out from the crowd and the clutter that surrounded – surrounds – us all.
My question for you – when you look at what you are giving your customer, your staff, your partner …. is it creative ? Does it stand out from the clutter – or is it just ‘blah’.
And – if it isn’t going to rise above the clutter – ask yourself – why should the recipient care ?
There are reasons – and being creative doesn’t have to mean you need Picasso involved at every stage – or even that the recipient will necessarily get the creativity.
It can be one of those things that ‘just is’ and works subliminally.