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Transcript of MIND MAP
So what is creativity to me?
Hobbies & Interests
Experience & Skills
I have a passion for the environment and for animals
I love to travel and listen to music
I cherish time with my family and friends
I enjoy writing and reading
I aspire to work for an organizations who's mission is to better the environment and save the wild. Ideally, I'd like to work in the marketing department handling the large campaigns or social media accounts.
Before university my experience was in the restaurant industry. Through the business co-op program I've had the chance to work for a start up eCommerce company, a local not-for-profit and for my University. My formative experiences were my last two co-op terms. These terms opened my eyes to the not-for-profit world and made me realize that I want to work for an organization who's primary purpose isn't profit. I think what I bring to the class is a different perspective on business and on marketing specifically. I view my business education as a tool to make the world a better place.
My existing mental model of creativity
Being true to who you are and understanding what you are capable of. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses, your passions, and have deep-seated values.
Encounter a task or realize a disequilibrium where you feel compelled or are assigned to solve a problem, answer a question, or express something.
Reflect, ask questions, even if there isn't a definitive answer.
Analyze information that pertains to the situation and even some that may not. Analyze the differing perspectives of others.
Mesh your thoughts, other information, various perspectives, rules and guidelines together in many different ways- without limiting yourself or dampening your values.
Use the resources you have to take the thought you've nurtured throughout this process and bring it to life.
So how does marketing tie in?
How does a company convert people into customers? How does a company stand out amongst the hundreds of other companies in their industry? They must be creative in their approach.
Companies will speak to a larger percentage of their target audience if they take the focus off of listing features and prices and put it on offering value.
Creativity in marketing is not just about design. It should be applied across product, price, place and promotion. Companies need to create an identity that people can recognize and commend. The only way companies achieve this with success is by being creative.
My hopes for discussion in this class
The myths about creativity
History of the concept of creativity
Obstacles to the creative process
Tools and environments that stimulate creativity
Can successful marketing exist without creativity?
Are all good leaders creative?
Does every person have the capacity to be creative?
Can true creativity exist with censors and limitations?
Can creativity be taught or is it innate?
Does where you live impact your ability to be creative?
Whats the difference between being creative alone and being creative as a team?
Top 3 most creative things I've seen in marketing
What has influenced my thoughts on creativity along the way?
Creative thinking is a skill. It is a way to arrive at ideas that have value. It is thinking outside of the constraints that most people live in. Creativity requires professionalism and a great deal of focus. Those who are creative are constantly seeking opportunities. The creative process is not a formulaic one. It is a process that never ends and is constantly evolving.
The creative process is a result of creating alternatives (divergence) and selecting the best strategy (convergence). Basically it is coming up with a wide array of ideas and refining them into a useable solution.
Key Takeaway: Lateral Thinking
This course has helped me realize how inadequate the teaching in our school system is. We are taught to find the truth and to not make mistakes, we are supposed to develop logical arguments and pose judgement. We need to start thinking to find value. We live in a mindless society where technology thinks for us and where most positions and ways of thought people hold lack the element of design. It is up to use to change this and use creative thinking to design the future.
Be comfortable with yourself.
Realize your own talents and work with them.
Strive for quantity.
Strive for wild and unusual ideas.
Build on past ideas. Combine Ideas. Remember 'Everything is a Remix'
Build knowledge and understanding related to those ideas.
Assess and judge
Decide what to keep and how to proceed
Improve the ideas.
Creative thought doesn't end,
it is constantly evolving
This course has taught me that truly effective marketing cannot exist without creativity. The relationship between creativity and marketing is that creativity is a prerequisite for marketing.
Brands are like people. Marketers take human qualities and develop a personality for the brand. This makes it easier for customers to identify with companies and quickly understand what they are all about. Marketers need to use creative techniques to develop visuals, messages, and experiences that evoke certain feelings for the customer.
Today's best marketers are creating brand loyalty by telling stories that provide meaning and fulfill the hunger we have for stories. Marketers us creative thinking to build communities and empower people through stories- they tap into deep levels of the mind and the heart.
Marketers have been fulfilling our 'myth gap' and have created a society where we believe we are nothing without our favourite brands. We live in a world where people protect their thoughts and ideas instead of sharing them, marketers are our myth makers. However, marketers have run into a huge problem where citizens now have the control to skip and choose the ads they see. The rise of social media is giving the public a voice and is bringing back oral tradition. The myth makers are not just the marketers anymore. Marketers need to find a way to tell compelling stories and deliver them in a creative way to avoid this issue.
Good marketers must be creative in developing marketing campaigns because they are selling much more than a material object. Think about every beer commercial you have ever seen. Are they just selling you a nice cold beer or are they selling you the ability to be invincible and young. Marketers must creatively and effectively tie together positive associations with social and personal meaning.
Being a marketer would require virtually no creativity if humans were receptive to just listing off features and describing function and quality. However, humans are much more complicated than this. The brand ladder effectively explains what marketers must get across to their audience in a seamless and captivating way. People will only have the motivation to buy a product or service when the features, product benefits, consumer benefit and most importantly value is cemented. This sounds like a lot, the average commercial is only 30 seconds! This is why marketers must be able to effectively get this across by narrowing down the message and sacrificing a certain amount of richness for the sake of getting the message across. This is where creativity because an hugely important tool.
Aspect of the course I identified with the most:
Mihaly Csikszentmihali's 10 Paradoxes
I've always felt that I've struggled to fully describe myself. I felt surrounded by people that were so sure of who they were when I wasn't. I felt that in order to have a complete identity I'd have to shift to certain extremes. However, this was impossible. This aspect of the course made me realize that I shouldn't be hindering this tendency, I should be embracing it and I'm very lucky to contain contradictory extremes. I feel that it lets me experience the world in different ways and makes me able to relate to a wider range of people. I definitely feel that it helps me cultivate creativity.
#10. Creative people's openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment
This paradox sticks out to me especially. I am an extremely open and sensitive person. Most would say this makes me weak and vulnerable, however, I see this as a strength. I can literally feel the pain people feel when I hear their stories. I have this intense ability to put myself in peoples shoes to the point where it can bring tears. This can be a burden at times but it gives me the ability to better understand the world and the people in it. This ability gives me a great deal of enjoyment when I am immersed in beautiful situations and surrounded by amazing people. I feel that i take in experiences to a degree that most people don't feel. When I see beautiful things or hear beautiful things I get more pleasure and inspiration out of it then most people would.
Most useful aspect of the course:
This course has taught me a lot about group dynamics. The business program emphasizes the importance of teams and I have experienced a lot of group work. However, most of my groups have been assembled by luck of the draw, with absolutely no strategy. It is interesting how the program puts so much emphasis on groups but has never taught us any fundamentals behind creating a good group. I will definitely take these group learnings and apply them to future group work situations.
I believe the thinking hats are an extremely useful tool to use in group settings. However, the difficulty for me is that its not so simple to just put on the hat and become accustomed to that point of view. When building a creative team it is important to ensure that the hat people get is one that suites their strengths. I know personally my strengths would be in the yellow, green and black hat. I know I would have difficulty with the blue hat because I would constantly have the urge to interject and state my opinions. I think when using the hats in a strategic way this can radically boost the effectiveness and the creativity of teams.
Are all good leaders creative?
A good leader knows how to bring out the creative elements in their team members
Myths about creativity
One of the biggest myths is that a few people are responsible for the greatest steps forward in man kind. Creative innovations take the combination of the hard work from thousands of others. Also, creativity doesn't just come in a flash it is developed over time. Being creative isn't magic its application.
Can creativity be taught or is it innate?
Creativity is assembling the discoveries of others. It is seeing opportunities and acting on them. Creativity is not being born with the key to develop something new. People can be taught to seek opportunities and transform past ideas. Everyone has the capacity to be creative.
Conceptualizers: Tend to gain knowledge by detached abstract thinking. Creates options in the form of alternate ways to understand and define a problem or opportunity and good ideas that help solve it.
After realizing this is the quadrant that best describes me I looked back at all of the times in group situations where we all tried to be all 4 of these instead of focusing on our strengths. Knowing this could have saved us a lot of time and helped us working in a way that brought out our greatest talents.
After 12 weeks of learning about creative thinking, these are the 2 big questions I have about the topic:
What emotion is the best/ most effective emotion for marketers to tap into? Personally, the profound and heartfelt marketing is what speaks to me the most. I feel like I saw a trend in this during the in class seminars.
How can schools be restructured to help nurture children's creativity?
My Questions Now
Going out into the 'real world' I know I will probably not use the finance or calculus I learned in this program. However, I will most definitely use the tools and theories taught in this course. Creative thinking has been the most enlightening and useful course for me to move forward in my career. Thank you for a great term!