Creativity is like air: invisible and necessary. Creativity is everybody’s job. It fosters innovation and nurtures talent. How do we create an environment that is conducive of creativity?
I will be taking some inspiration from Monty Python’s method.
– Bold Ambition: look for a big contradiction to crack. Resolve it exponentially better than the dominant player. Don’t be afraid to ridicule ‘God,’ like Dollar Shave Club did with Gillette. Great satire comes from conflict.
– Open Mindset: be generous with your exploration. No limits, no obstacles, no guardrails. Don’t let the past, your management, or your fears censor you.
– Democracy: creativity comes from anyone. Build diverse teams. Grab those minds within the organization that you know will enjoy a wild ride. Involve trade partners: they will open up more than in your buy meetings. You will find gold.
– Dictatorship: someone needs to say yes, in the end. If there is Capex involved, engage early enough the person who will cut the check. But the dictator’s focus is on results more than money. An extraordinary show will just need to generate more cash than planned. Amazing beats diligent.
– Closed mindset: be inflexible with deadlines. Short-list, prioritize, and converge. You are at the top of your creativity at the end of the flow. This is ‘the’ step that John Cleese respected the most. He was the most creative writer of the Monty Python bunch.
– Progressive Execution: the ambition is unchanged. But, test your gig a few times and bounce it around. Finesse what can be perfected. Dry run it multiple times, then blow it up.
Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating (John Cleese, Monty Python). Don’t be afraid to be creative and have fun. Breathe creativity, and succeed.
Francesco Pagano is a CMO with 20+ years of experience in FMCG and Fashion, gained between EMEA and the Americas. He is passionate about innovation, brand management, brand communication, and international business. He is always up for irresistible product concepts, ultimate communication via integrated campaigns, and great Italian food.