kree·ay·ti·vuh·teeWhat The MediaHeads Are Thinking: Kree·ay·ti·vuh·teekree·ay·ti·vuh·tee

I’m not sure how true it is but an English lecturer once relayed the story of a creative writing assignment. The assignment tasked students to write about “bravery”. After marking athe bulk of the students’ offerings, who wrote between 700 and 800 words for the assignment, the lecturer turned to a folio that read, “I’ve been tasked to share a story about bravery. This is bravery.” With a word count of twelve, the assignment scored 100%. Understanding the task and acting accordingly remains the key for success. Some instances require complex solutions, explanations, activities and actions, some are as simple as twelve words.

The creative space, especially in the advertising and marketing industry, is a complex and competitive playground. Tighter budgets, measurable outcomes and impact are standard issue on briefing documents, with innovative and out the box thinking often making an appearance. In order toTo move briefing documents forward I think we need to approach things like the student above and we need to activate creativity.

Creative conversations aren’t always going to be well received. Creativity oftens speaks to change and disrupting the status quo. Exploring new ideas and unconventional approaches doesn’t guarantee results or improved outcomes. Creativity can also include abstract concepts, and as part of the creative challenge we need to better explain the thinking, process and final product derived from the creative process. It is difficult to visualise, hear or grasp ideas that have no point of reference or that can be compared, in parts, to other ideas, concepts or actions. Effective creativity is ultimately understood by the end user, and we must consider how we express the idea in such a way that it can be grasped in context.

Creativity and innovation aren’t the same concept. They often work together but aren’t exclusive in execution. Creative thinking can dress old ideas up in new outfits and send them to different places. Creative thinking understands you don’t always need a new shiny thing, but you need to polish what you have to keep it relevant and impactful. Creativity is the polish and the rubbing that keeps the sheen!

Creativity is often borne from self-expression and discovery. This is not a manufacturing process but a unique process and journey for each person, that develops and manifests in different ways. As creatives it is important to understand your own process and what drives it. It is equally important to understand what slows the process down and make it grind to a halt and be able to express this when working in teams and groups. I believe creativity is inertly linked human thought, it might be sparked by other events or processes, but ultimately it is the domain of people.

Creativity is not a selfish act, to the contrary, it is created within oneself for greater benefit. From cultural enrichment like art, music, dance and film, creativity extends the identities of societies and creates a sense of being and community. Because of the explorative nature of creativity, it leads to understanding which drives knowledge and empathy which fosters diverse perspectives.

Like bravery, creativity is about a ripple effect of action and not necessarily about the action itself. It is about change and the ability to do something to enable a process. As we celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day this week, acknowledge your creative edge and prepare for your next twelve-word assignment!

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