Little steps and WOW!

Photograph: Stuart O’Sullivan

Some of my friends and colleagues often joke about my reaction to things. It’s not rare to hear me exclaim wow! when a designer shows me a thing of beauty or when another creative comes up with a great idea. The fact is that these little thoughts / ideas / designs – no matter how small and where they come from – are rare little pieces of brilliance and creativity. They might solve a problem (big or small) or connect people or concepts, or just make the world a more beautiful and better place.

I am a champion of creativity and open mindedness. I love and support the creative process and connecting previously unconnected ideas together. I believe the result is a small step to humankinds’ improvement. And todays’ economy is powered by this creation and innovation. This is what WordPress and Tumblr and Blogging and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google+ and Youtube and Smartphones (you get my drift!) are all about. They get people designing, creating, solving and then sharing.

I read something yesterday – I cant remember who said it or where I read it (so sorry about the lack of attribution) but it was something like “if we honestly seek to change ourselves or our condition just 1% each day, that’s 365% of change in a year”.

So, here’s to more WOW! moments, living consciously and changing our condition and the world positively.


Insights in todays’ economy.

Source: http://www.webdesignfan.com

In communications, great ‘insights’ are coveted. To be in touch with our consumers and find out how they spend their time, what they hope, what they fear, what they are motivated by, how they choose, how they live. These ‘insights’ help us develop communications that will engage people and trigger some sort of response or connection.

A lot has been written about insights – how to get them and how to crystalise them. But I think nothing has been written on capturing insights in an economy and landscape and lifestyle that has remarkably changed. So, although the pace of the world and the pace of change today is spinning faster than previously, I think the way we capture our insights hasn’t adapted.

We still spend time searching for the ‘golden egg’ when this concept is outdated in todays economy.

Today there are many inspired people with ‘hack / prototype’ mentality and ways of doing things. People who have a belief and vision to change the world. They don’t wait for an ‘insight’ – they work on a belief. So it follows, that our strategic insights should come from this starting point. I put forward that insights should be real, instinctive, based on a belief on where the world is headed, and based on a reservoir of built-up research – i.e not research commissioned specifically to capture an insight.

This is ‘radical’ coming from a ‘planner’ because insights have been the area planning has been built around (Bernbach, Pollitt et al) but advertising as we know it is history. So whilst we’re reinventing the advertising wheel, we should start by reinventing how we define and crystalise insights as well.

Food for thought.

Brenda.


We Believe.

Following from the previous post (“Everyone is replaceable”, you said) – see what happens when you inspire your biggest asset. Here are powerful statements that people @Livingroom have made about what it’s like to work here. It’s proof that magic happens when you ignite peoples spirit, and show your Talent you CARE.

And when your people are onside, there is no stopping you!

Brenda.


Transition Economy

Image from andren.tumblr.com via Pinterest David Webb

As an ambitious young student searching for a career to pursue, it seemed a paradigm shift was happening away from manual / technical labor, production, agriculture. The future belonged to those with a profession, the service industry, those who had ‘intellectual property’.

But this bit of forward planning didn’t predict the Internet & digital boom, the population explosion, the effects of the environmental meltdown, endemic global economic woes, global inequality or various political rumblings.

We are living in recession weary yet technologically driven days. Data and knowledge is easily accessible and what we do with this is what sets us apart. Publishing and communication has never been easier. Any industry which is opportunistic and relies on the success or failure of others will remain stagnant. Anthropologist David Graeber calls these the ‘Bullshit Jobs’ which tend to be concentrated in “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers”. And any industry that fails to acknowledge and adapt to the rapidly changing political, economic or environmental changes will suffer.

Over the last 15 years and specifically the last 8 years, (since the launch of Facebook) the world has changed faster than the previous half century. We are now in what many call a ‘state of flux’. A constant state of rapid development.

In this state of flux, technical skills are increasingly in demand. People who do and make stuff, who have a unique flair for creating something new or improve on an existing design. The ‘new world’ is like an island inhabited for the first time, a chaotic frontier, it needs designers, builders, plumbers, carpenters, bakers, chefs, farmers, app developers, software & hardware designers and developers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians. People who do, who create, who help solve old world problems in new world ways.

Leading this transition is Generation Flux, a new breed of entrepreneur who is quick and nimble at making something new or improving on previous ideas.

We can no longer afford the luxury of old world silos and job descriptions; we must create new ones, based on symbiosis and flexibility. Jobs are not guaranteed, especially lifelong jobs – in the new world once a project is over you move onto the next project. When your contract is over there is help needed elsewhere. We need an army of doers. A constant state of symbiosis with our fellow inhabitants and the land.

The world is changing at a rapid rate, much faster than you can say MBA. Are you ready for it?


Squandering space.

I believe that every aspect of a brand’s appearance to its audience is an opportunity for it to display its products, its beliefs, its contribution to the world. None more so than its office space and its HQ.

So consider this ‘mural’ on the side of the HQ of G.E in Dubai.

I believe it’s a waste of space. Here’s why:

The creative itself is…well…un-Creative! What exactly does ‘the new face of the region mean’? And what an over used line. And, Just because the word ‘face’ appears in the headline doesn’t mean you need to put some random faces up there.

How many thousands of cars drive past that site each day, how many stand at the traffic lights waiting for the signal to turn, wanting something (anything) to read to make the minutes pass quickly? (As a side note, did you know people read their cereal box back-to-front, on average about 12 times before it’s thrown away!). Surely it could have been put to better use.

Here are some suggestions:

Tell me what G.E is actually doing in various parts of the world.

Tell me what new products you’ve launched.

Wind power, desalination, better health care are all great stories to tell – but what is it about them people want to hear? Make it interesting.

Tell me how you improve lives.

So, if you’d like to see how we could make your communication with the world more mesmerizing, tweet, message, email or call us.

Have a good day.


The new breed of retail.

Must read this article.

It is an example of the seismic shift we will continue to see across all industries and retail is no exception (see also Walmart and Apple retail).

Welcome to the new way of working. Transparancy and efficiency.

I love his customer understanding and respect “The customer knows the right price,” Mr. Johnson said. “We can raise the price all we want. She’s only going to pay the right price. She’s an expert.”

Change is a-coming. Oh yeah!


Bluebird

Nice animation of Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Bluebird”.

There’s a blue bird inside us all.
_________

Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Bluebird,”

there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too tough for him, 
I say, stay in there, I’m not going 
to let anybody see
 you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale 
cigarette smoke 
and the whores and the bartenders
 and the grocery clerks 
never know that 
he’s 
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too tough for him, 
I say,
 stay down, do you want to mess 
me up?
 you want to screw up the 
works?
 you want to blow my book sales in 
Europe? 
there’s a bluebird in my heart that 
wants to get out 
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
 at night sometimes 
when everybody’s asleep. 
I say, I know that you’re there,
 so don’t be 
sad.
 then I put him back, 
but he’s singing a little
 in there, I haven’t quite let him
 die 
and we sleep together like 
that 
with our
secret pact 
and it’s nice enough to
 make a man
 weep, but I don’t 
weep, do
 you?