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CREATIVE STRATEGY

where magic happens

In essence creativity is the art of linking disparate ideas and facts, therefore the more abilities you have making associations and the more information you have at your disposal, the better you are at coming up with new ideas. Creative thinking is the ability to leap from topic to topic and make innovative connections between old ideas. Memory and creativity are two sides of the same coin, and that is why invention and inventory share the same lexical root. We co-create based upon earlier inventions or steps in the progress of evolution, which ultimately constitute our bank of existing ideas to recombine and help in the composition of new ones.

Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, is the goddess of all the Muses. - Tony Buza

While the left side of the brain manages the logic, analysis and structural skills, the "thinkers" skills, the right side direct those of empathy, imagination and intuition, the "visionary" ones. Creative strategists are a strange breed of people trained to use both brain hemispheres simultaneously, half planners half creators, with the capacities for imagination, empathy, research, memory, organization and intuition strongly developed. Their unique perspective and knowledge brings new sets of possible solutions, which often inspire others to think out of the box, and motivates them to take action.

CREATIVE THINKING

Creative thinking can be thought of as the use and balance of two very different skill sets—divergent and convergent thinking.

Divergent thinking: Generates new ideas. The divergent skill allows us to diverge from the norm, be free-flowing, and move beyond the boundaries of the status quo with a multitude of new, unique ideas. Divergent thinking is the process of creating many unique solutions to solve a problem. We search for options instead of just choosing among predetermined options. It welcomes the different and the unknown. Divergent thinking is often mistaken with creative thinking, but it is only a part of it.

Convergent thinking: Evaluates information. The convergent skill takes all the myriad of possibilities and converges on a few or just one—it structures and organizes all these ideas and allows for an unbiased selection of one idea. Convergent thinking is the process of finding a single best solution to a problem that you are trying to solve. Many tests that are used in schools, such as multiple choice or standardized tests, are measures of convergent thinking. We apply logical steps to determine the best solution. The ability to objectively analyze data is a great skill, but when all our data just comes from numbers, it doesn't allow for creativity.

Bringing them together to do creative thinking. They allow us to move from a problem to an idea. The process of using these together reveals that the problems aren't always 100 percent clear, and that the solution is not always 100 percent clear. By using creative thinking, we can discover the true problem, create ideas to solve it, and choose which idea(s) may be the best to solve it.

The act of combining concepts from different fields has given birth of many game-changing ideas, and this interdisciplinary approach is very much needed for the progress of the contemporary world we live in. Some of the most significant ideas come about when someone sees a problem in a new way, often by combining disparate elements that initially seemed unrelated, or even by people with the ability to simultaneously conceive of an idea and its opposite.

FORMS OF THOUGHT

We can divide brain into four types of thought process: Analytical, Practical, Relational, Experimental. Some of us prefer thiking outside the box, and others tend to keep straight to the facts, with the tendency to think in different ways:

Logical: Facts and figures fans, this group likes to know about proof-points. They respond well to learning goals and objectives and like to learn in a clear, concise way. That means minimal text, lots of charts, data, research-backed information and a direct learning goal.

Organized: The rule followers, this quadrant likes order and procedure. Just like quadrant A, they respond well to goal-oriented learning that’s concise and planned out. They prefer to be prepared, follow instructions and learn via quizzes, step by step exercises, checklists and with practical feedback.

Emotional: These are ‘people persons’. They are empathic, emotionally in tune, and enjoy learning with other people. They’re cooperative and work well in teams where thoughts, ideas, and discussion can be heard. Seeing the information in action through stories and experiences is what they’re drawn too.

Holistic: Finally, the true creatives. This group is more about the abstract. They, too, like minimal details, however, they also like to explore ideas and muse on what they’re being informed on. Idea generation and thought exercises are key to them learning best. And visuals, lots and lots of visuals, that illustrate key information, and make the learning more engaging.

 

Training to develop methods that exercise all areas of the brain are possible. This ensures that your learners are using the stonge’ side of their brain, while also challenging and exercising the less dominant sides. let’s explore the learning techniques favored by each quadrant.

HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN

More than anything else, it is the human experience that lead us to being creative. When we include everyone, when we actively seek to understand an individual and their concerns, engaging in a positive dialog and setting the foundation for creative thinking. When you empathize with someone, you're stretching outside of yourself and stretching into that person's world. This empathy then links to problem-solving because you must first decide not only what the problem is, but who has the problem. In design, you want to empathize before you define.

“Innovation comes from having a deep sense of empathy.” ​– Satya Nadella

More than anything else, it is the human experience that lead us to being creative. When we include everyone, when we actively seek to understand an individual and their concerns, engaging in a positive dialog and setting the foundation for creative thinking. When you empathize with someone, you're stretching outside of yourself and stretching into that person's world. This empathy then links to problem-solving because you must first decide not only what the problem is, but who has the problem. In design, you want to empathize before you define.

CREATIVE STRATEGIST ROLE

The Creative strategist must have therefore a well trained memory, to gather the collective consciousness of the project, to keep in mind all the knowledge and details about the project, in order to act as the captain of the ship. Leadership in team growth, effectiveness, and satisfaction is critical for this role. While the specifics may vary from individual to individual, most successful creative people report to follow a routine that helps them channel their insights in the most constructive way, as well as a set of times and practices that make them most productive.

A Creative Strategist blends the Human Empathy, the "Why?", motivations and jobs to be done, with the Data, the "What?", behavior and opportunities. Other specific characteristics of a modern Creative Strategist would be intense curiosity, ability to question conventional wisdom, global mindset, communication talent, social media proficiency, ability to see unthinkable opportunities to thrive, tenacity and resilience to handle multiple projects with competing priorities, strong creative skills and “out of the box" thinking, and working experience in finding creative solutions to complex problems.

The most successful Creative Strategists have a hybrid background, including knowledge and experience in: business strategy, creative strategy, brand strategy, communications strategy, innovation consulting, qualitative and quantitative research, and design thinking with subject matter experience in multiple industries, such as: Finance, Tech, Auto, Fashion, Beauty, CPG, Luxury.

In Advertising, the Creative Strategist role inks the brief, budgets and brand, balancing between media, money and mileage with a certainty of positive results, devising the “strategy” behind the creative message behind all the channels and formats. In order to develop and implement a strategy that can build a maintain a strong brand, it is necessary to precisely analyze about marketing, target audience, consumer research and media platforms. The creative strategist working in marketing would then ideate, articulate and execute creative branded content campaigns and creative solutions that set the bar for the sector, and develop a coherent online presence that maximizes lead generation, increases traffic and converts potential customer interest to sales and enhances the product to public.​

  • Rigorously research and analyze the current strategy to perfectly comprehend business, consumers, and competition.
  • Excellent collaboration with Manager Director and Strategy Director regarding scope, project plan, and feasibility vetting.
  • Collaborate with sales and data analytics teams to identify and measure the Key Performance Indicators.
  • Assess business situations and apply both qualitative and quantitative problem-solving approaches.
  • Synthesize relevant insights and findings and identify key issues and opportunities.
  • Identifying the opportunities to thrive and/or the problems to be solved.
  • Effective communication with Managers and Execution Teams to appropriately come up with the creative vision.
  • Establishing the creative strategy and determine the specific scope of the project.
  • Synthesize all the insights of the project and determine the Strategic Plan to implement.
  • Develop concepts and compiling proposals to transmit the selected ideas and solutions. (eg. briefs, mood boards, etc.)
  • Convey the Project Documentation (e.g. marketing plan, budget, schedule, etc)
  • Detect all the project needs and cast the resources to enact the Plan.
  • Lead, motivate, and support the executive team, defining the tasks schedule managing time & monitoring development.
  • Managing, structuring and overseeing the design and delivery of multiple work streams, tasks, and analyses.
  • Ensuring project team delivers quality work on time, within budget and in line with quality standards.
  • Directing and supervising data-gathering, research, analysis, and insight development, including industry dynamics.
  • Formulating and testing strategic hypotheses, developing insights and recommendations for presentations.
  • Evaluating new businesses and revenue opportunities and leading the development of market sizing, business and investment cases, capability assessments, and change management plans required to achieve them.
  • Lead and facilitate meetings, delivery of difficult messages with persuasiveness and sensitivity.
  • Create compelling, well-structured and innovative digital creative campaigns that’s align with the overall strategy.
  • Orchestrate, nurture, and inspire the creative team (e.g., Designers, Photographers, Videographers, etc.) in the creation of that vision across executions/channels (print, video, digital, experiential, etc.)
  • Keep up with current and emerging digital technology, across all channels and platforms and social insights.
  • Prepare reports and creative proposals with impressive communication and presentation skills and style.
  • Play a lead role in proposals, thought leadership efforts, and other market and business development activities.
  • Complete Requests For Proposals and proactive pitches to win new business and repeat business with existing clients.
  • Lead responsibility for ensuring the quality deliverables.
  • Coaching and mentor other junior members of the team.
  • Lead responsibility for ensuring the quality of deliverables.

The creative strategy process involves five main phases: Discovery, Strategy, Design, Execution & Transfer.

TECHNOLOGIST STRATEGIST ROLE

Technology is the major disruptor of our age. Technology is changing competitive landscapes and creating new opportunities for almost every organization. This situation plays directly to Accenture's strengths. With Accenture Strategy, we have created what we believe is the strategy firm of the future. We are fantastically well positioned to help our clients address the strategic opportunities presented by technological change. It’s a very exciting place to be

Innovation in technology starts with passion and curiosity around opportunities and threats posed by innovation and industry convergence. This allows us to identify and exploit new value streams enabled by the creative application of existing or leading-edge technologies, such as Robotics, Big Data, Advanced Machine Learning, Internet of Things. Strong analytical skills, understanding of complex issues, the ability to quickly absorb information, conceptual and creative problem-solving excellence can make a good Technology strategist, with the ability to adapt and remove obstacles to achieve results, with determination and optimism.

A successful Technology Strategy formulation solves complex business challenges at the intersection of business and technology, in the need to reimagine their IT operating models, architectures and governance, to keep up with the evolving digital landscape and with the isruptive technologies and trends in technology strategy. The opportiunities to make a difference within exciting initiatives are limitless in this ever-changing business landscape, which includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

  • Analise IT Operating Model and discover IT operating models which enable delivering value in line with business strategies, that can develop creative and breakthrough solutions
  • Help build the required capabilities for growth and innovation, with the ability to work collaboratively and iteratively, develop experiments and prototypes to prove the value of strategic architecture blueprints
  • Developing a deep understanding of emerging technologies to feed value creation opportunities that often disrupt traditional industry value chains and challenge orthodoxies
  • Work in multi-disciplinary teams to shape, propose, communicate and implement programs
  • Contribute to thought leadership at the intersect of business and technology
  • Interpreting the commercial mechanics of businesses and the role of technology in accelerating value realisation
  • Shape and execute business visions enabled by realistic roadmaps of capability development framed within well-defined governance
  • Translate and leverage technology to maximise strategic impact articulated in structured enterprise architectures to help deliver tangible business outcomes
  • Collaborate with industry and business specialists to develop comprehensive technology strategies, including IT opportunity assessment, investment portfolio management, information strategy, sourcing strategy, enterprise architecture strategy and more
  • Leadership qualities and the ability to easily establish trust-based relationships and gain valuable insights through collaboration and communication
  • Analysing current issues a building a fact-based approach to developing and implementing business visions, road maps and governance to address today's business needs and support future growth
  • Analytical and rigorous approach, ability to turn data into insightful executive summaries and business case reports
  • Digital-focused experience of identifying and exploiting new value streams enabled by leading edge technologies
  • IT process excellence oriented experience, operating model design and transformation
  • Experience in helping clients reposition their technology portfolio to fuel growth by balancing cost and capability

TECHNIQUES FOR CREATIVE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

ROSE, THORN & BUD TECHNIQUE

You can use Rose, Thorn, Bud as a technique in formal workshops or informal discussions when you need to quickly work with a group to gain their sentiment on a broad topic. It facilitates productive discussion and helps you codify ideas and narrow down the field of possibilities. It can start with a topic like, “What are your thoughts about x?” and ask others to write down their thoughts, observations, or opinions against three types of feedback:

1. Something about the topic that is good (rose).

2. Something about the topic that is not good (thorn).

3. Something about the topic that has potential (bud).

Here are a few tips to share with you: Number one, make sure to use different colors for the different feedback types. That way it's easy for you to know which ones are the roses, the thorns, and the buds. It's going to be helpful as well when you're trying to spot the emergent patterns later on. Second, make sure every voice is heard. To do that, give them one to two minutes each to independently write down their thoughts and feedback on each post-it notes. That way, you're sure that it's their thoughts and not being influenced by others. Third, try to do the exercise on your own first so that you know that it's going to work and it really makes sense. So then when you're facilitating, you could really focus on facilitating.

CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY TECHNIQUE

Contextual Inquiry is human-centered tool that can be used in multiple situations have seen in action how asking open end questions help empathizing with the stakeholder and discovering new insights about the customer. Contextual inquiry is often a more formal interview wherein a researcher observes the behavior of a user trying to improve an app or a process, but there are plenty of other contexts where this technique could be used.

Every time that we talk to a customer, we have an opportunity to use Contextual Inquiry, whether we want to understand their context or we want to discover what pain points they have, what challenges they’re running into, what types of frustrations they have, or even if we want to know what process they’re going through on a daily basis. The mere act of questioning with empathy is contextual inquiry. The method ensures that your problem solving starts with a user.

The technique focuses on the importance of asking the customer about their feelings and allowed them to verbalize these, to really understand how they feel about a process or a service. The mere act of questioning with empathy is contextual inquiry. The method ensures that your problem solving starts with a user, challenging early assumptions, revealing what people actually do and say, and deepening your empathy for others, to ultimately build higher credibility and rapport with stakeholders.

It can be summarized in these 3 steps:

1. Prepare: Use the checklist to ensure you are well-prepared to observe and interview stakeholders.

2. Observe and inquire: When observing a stakeholder do their job, ask short, meaningful questions to reveal why they are doing something.

3. Reflect: Take notes and reflect on what you observed and asked to ensure you understand how the stakeholder really does things or feels

RADAR TECHNIQUE

This tool like gathers quick insights that you can use throughout the creative process. Using this tool with a group also reveals differing opinions of importance quickly. This technique reveals what people are focused onShows how people prioritize, Challenges preconceptions and yields insights that inform ensuing work. 

The right spots on a radar screen often indicate attention needed. As the blip gets closer to the center of the radar it becomes more and more important. Using a radar diagram as a method for better understanding stakeholders can work in much the same way. Quadrants are: What do you love? What annoys you? What features? What requires support?

Steps include:

1. Categorize: Create categories of focus—two, four, or eight.

2. Brainstorm: Place personal importance statements on the radar template in the relevant quadrant.

3. Prioritize: Vote on which ones are truly in the center, middle, or outer rings for the group.

Understanding what your customer is focused on, and to what importance or degree, challenges, assumptions, and preconceptions is an important part of creative thinking. This technique helps discover insights about your stakeholder to ensure the creative thinking process starts from a human-centric approach.

PROBLEM TREE ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE

When you first glance at a tree in a forest, you rarely focus on its distinct parts. It’s uncommon to consider the invisible roots that sustain the problem from the branches, its causes and effects. If you study the root of a problem and recognize its branching effects, you set the conditions for effectively framing the issues and finding meaningful solutions.

Problem Tree Analysis is a simple technique for breaking a stated problem down into its root causes and effects. It helps clarify the issue and provides an avenue to restate the problem. Problem Tree Analysis may reveal that we need to solve for a different problem than was originally stated. This technique helps untangle complex problems, reveal various causes and effects, build a shared understanding and provide a direction for creative ideas. Steps:

1. Define the problem: Ensure the problem is stated clearly.

2. Effects: List the effects of the problems.

3. Causes: List the causes of the problems.

 

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