Socially Speaking…

Freedom of speech has long been identified as an essential human right; it’s what connects individuals to society… The suffragettes starved for it… Mandela went to prison for it… and many have died for it….

However are we all as brave as our courageous counterparts?   People are afraid of rejection or isolation of their beliefs so many remain silent, especially if their views go against majority opinion — as explained in ‘Spiral of Silence Theory’

However in this digital era we are living in, it has opened up and revolutionized are ability to communicate their opinions… The anonymity of Social media has given permission for people to express themselves in ways in which was once restricted to them by self-imposed social constraints… However has this always been a good thing?

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Social Media has become a force to be reckoned with and has seeped into all areas of our lives… Today, we spend more time connected to media devices than we do sleeping…

Liberation of speech on social media has started wars….  It has made children and teenagers victims to their counterparts and ultimately have we forgotten how to relate to one another in the flesh?

Has social media empowered us and given us the platform we needed to make our voices heard taking over and dictating to us?

What do you think we would love to hear from you…

 

 

Feeling the Flow!

After a recent trip to the Tate Modern on the Southbank on a company afternoon out, I stood in the awe inspiring former turbine hall listening intently to the account of how this magnificent space was reborn and how it was so beautifully and sensitively converted to its present use in a time of uncertainty…designed by the relatively unknown (at the time!) Swiss architects Hertzog de Meuron… I was reminded that in a world where we are told it’s not what you know it’s who you know… ultimately such unique talent, passion and vision truly does trump!

Drawing inspiration from this triumph of space and light, I thought how cleverly the architects worked with our senses, drawing us in and allowing us to go with the flow, enjoying guiding gentle slopes in place of stairs and always encouraging us to look up, to enjoy and to be inspired by this beautiful space, rather than looking down at our feet and be ever mindful of our steps.  

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Being thrust back into the madding crowds and the bustle of London I wondered could I somehow take and translate this uplifting experience to enrich other areas of my life- could this experience lead to a greater effect on the way I work perhaps? 

How can we create a state of being in flow in the way we work… working with the constructs of what we have, using a different architecture, that of our strategic business environment to enhance output, enjoyment and fulfilment?

So what is flow and how do we get there?

‘Flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does

So how do we get there?

Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance believes the following;

Take More Social Risks.

Taking social risks is the same as physical risks.” Speak up at meetings, share creative ideas, approach a stranger or tell the truth when it feels awkward.

Up the amount of novelty and complexity in your work environment

In business, the idea is to get out of habits and routines. “Automatic pilot is efficient and routines save the brain energy, but it doesn’t put you into flow.

Use all of your senses.

The final external flow trigger happens when you pay attention with all sensory streams, listening, looking, smelling, tasting, and touching. Action and adventure sports demand deep embodiment..

“When a person is in a state of flow, all five potent neurochemicals massively amplify the immune system,” says Kotler.

“Stress-causing hormones are flushed out of body in flow, and the autoimmune and nervous systems go haywire.” 

‘Flow is the most desirable state on earth, but it’s also the most elusive.’

 

A little of the good stuff…

With Digital and Innovation being banded around there is a new trend emerging which they are calling Premiumisation.  This is the development of new premium or luxury products.

We are noticing a new trend where there is a desire to have quality over quantity.  It is essentially the desirability of the luxury world within the function and necessity of the mass market.

The rapid wealth creation in emerging markets is bringing about new sources of demand for products like upmarket spirits.

Moet

“When people consider buying premium, they are looking for three things,” says International Commercial Director for Moët & Chandon, Bertrand Steip. “The first is brand authenticity and heritage, followed by the embodiment of a luxurious life, and finally the element of experimentation.”

For luxury brands the challenge in taking a share of the premiumisation market is how to stay true to their values. The offering needs to build on what the brand stands for and heighten its unique qualities, instead of moving away from its area of expertise without a clear purpose.

Not only does the product have to be premium but we are moving into an age of experiential consumerism; establishing a real connection and intimacy and a sense of occasion.

How do you choose?

Choice…  Every day we are faced with hundreds of decisions, some inconsequential, some major life decisions. Network looks deeper into the process behind your decision making development.

Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia Business School who studies choice, posited that choice extends beyond the merits of one particular option or another in her TED talk “On the Art of Choosing.”

“Choice is just as much about WHO people are as it is about what the product is,” Iyengar said. “You have a group of people for whom every little difference matters and so every choice matters.”

Therefore the decisions you make are based on the values you hold and the person you are just as much as the product. This is why it is vitally important for brands to engage with their consumers and harness their desires and intent.

 

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So how does this relate to your industry?

Neil Davidson, Executive Planning Director at creative agency Hey Human eloquently describes it when he says “The marketing industry is still obsessed with changing the way people think about a brand rather than (perhaps more effectively) changing the way they connect with a brand”

“If brands are built around behavioural insight, rather than attitudinal assumptions, the market naturally starts to look a lot healthier. Consumer need is married with brand capability. Success is sustainable”.

 

 

 

 

What your score on Gamification?

In the fight for innovation we are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to push the boundaries of productivity and creativity. The likes of Nike and Microsoft are taking up techniques such as Gamification to motivate and engage employees. 

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game design elements which are used in so called non-game contexts in attempts to improve user engagement and organizational productivity.  Gamification can be used in a business, educational, health and inspirational sectors!

Effectiveness?

With the workplace being a tough place to stay motivated and keep colleagues engaged, gamification is being employed as a tactic to enhance motivation and engagement.

Many brands have successfully implemented gaming platforms to increase productivity and to motivate employees to create healthy competition.  Brands are coming up with innovative ways to incorporate game-like features into ordinary activities every day.  It sparks some creativity and get competitive gears turning for ways to put the fun back in business.

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The Psychology behind it all?

Gamification can help satisfy fundamental needs. The psychologists Richard M. Ryan and Edward Deci  have discovered that as human beings, we have 3 primary universal needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These needs are at the core of our intrinsic motivation, the motivation that drives us to seek novelty and challenges, to develop our skills, to explore and to learn. Games tap into several of our key components which then loop into our reward system.

Finally, a word from you…

Have you had experience within your company using Gamification?  Has it been a success?  We would love to hear from you

 

 

 

 

How Rejection Breeds Creativity

All Designers and Creative’ s aim and work towards delivering game-changing pieces of work.   The creative process is never straight forward and for greatness to be gained, familiarity with vulnerability and rejection needs to be achieved.

At the 99U conference rejection and vulnerability was a hot topic and organizer Will Allen, who is the Creative Director of Adobe and Head of Behance spoke passionately on the topic…

‘Constraints, either from clients, the brand you are working for, or your own personal blocks can be a constant issue. The thoughts that you aren’t talented enough, don’t have enough time, and will never be enough is something creatives often confront.

How do you handle people saying they don’t like what you’ve put your passion into?’

To be a creative you must confront the obstacles of rejection.  Brene Brown a research professor on the subject takes it a step further and says ‘ Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.  If you are not placing risk into your creativity and taking risk you are not pushing boundaries… Success will not always be inevitable and so you must become familiar with rejection from time to time for greatness to be achieved.. ‘

Rejection

Changing the way you think?

A study by a Johns Hopkins University business professor finds that social rejection can inspire imaginative thinking, particularly in individuals with a strong sense of their own independence.

It is found that the creative person with an independent self-concept might even be said to thrive on rejection.

We all experience rejection on some level, it is unavoidable…those who embrace it will reap the benefits that come from embracing life.   To hide from rejection is to hide from life.

Don’t follow your passion…

Don’t do what you love… Learn to love what you do

In today’s World we are sold a dream that if we follow our passion it will lead to ultimate satisfaction.

There are some fortunate few who know their passion and can follow their dream. But for some ‘following our passion’ leads to confusion and even more disarray, coupled with a feeling that we are meant to know exactly what we want to do.

Passion is a fickle mistress…

Passion can change over time. The same passion we had in our 20’s will not necessarily be the same in in 5 or 10 years’ time. Our interests change often and more than we expect.

So if not passion, then what?

No matter what field you are in, passion can be a by-product of quality. Once you’re focused on the quality of the work you are currently doing rather than whether or not it’s right, you will experience a sense of esteem.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson said “the most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation”.

Many successful people are passionate, however their passion often developed alongside their success rather than coming first.

You can have many passions in life, they are diverse and changeable. Cultivate your skills and talents and what you are good at. Let quality be your dictator and passion will follow.

The Brutal Truth On Creativity

Is there such a thing as original creativity?

Where is the birthplace of creativity, do we every really create anything from an original place?

Network, look at whether there is such a thing as innovation or is it just imitation?

Elvis Presley is celebrated as one of the most original musicians of the 20th century, but he was once described by Mick Jagger as, “An original in the field of copycats.” He never once performed one of his own songs.

Does this make Elvis less creative or talented? Clearly not.

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Mark Twain sums it up when he says ‘For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources’

In essence what he means is that good ideas are always the product, to one degree or another, of collaboration.

Steve Jobs famously said in 1996: “Picasso had a saying — ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’

So this is our invitation to you to be a thief of originality and inspiration and discover innovation in the ordinary.

Does Idleness help creativity?

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, in their book How Google Works, proclaim that “Today we all live and work in a new era, the Internet Century, where technology is rolling the business landscape and the pace of change is accelerating”. We have become a society that is in a relentless pursuit of quicker, faster, now.

Common exchanges of ‘Crazy Busy’ and ‘Just so Busy’ are the obscured boasts we proclaim, yet anxiety sets in as soon as our calendars free up.

In the digital era we live in, the potential of our own creativity is rapidly being compromised. Quick fixes and immediate gratification are favoured.

I suggest that the space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary. Paradoxically it is necessary to getting any work done.

idleness

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body. It is the breeding ground for innovation.

There is much to be said for the ‘creative pause’ to disengage from the modern distractions of the world around us.

The facts:

Some studies have shown that the mind solves the most complex problems while daydreaming. Breakthroughs that seem to come out of nowhere are often the product of diffuse mode thinking.

That’s because the relaxation associated with daydream mode “can allow the brain to hook up and return valuable insights,” engineering Professor Barbara Oakley explained.

“When you’re focusing, you’re actually blocking your access to the diffuse mode. And the diffuse mode, it turns out, is what you often need to be able to solve a very difficult, new problem.”

And so I leave you with this quote from Virginia Woolf:

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes makes its way to the surface.”

Are brands making a human connection?

In a saturated market place how are agencies meant to gain attention in a crowded space?

Old Marketing systems of segmentation and targeted demographics are becoming less and less relevant..

If brands start to build themselves around behavioural insight it naturally starts to look a lot more attractive…. Building emotional connections with consumers is essential.

But why and How?

The science behind it?   The Limbic part of the brain is responsible for the Decision Making process – it is also unable to understand language, which explains why we often get a gut feel about things. This is why it is imperative that brands connect on an emotional level before trying to engage intellectually.   In short we tend to feel first, and then do, then think.

Effective decision making is not possible without the motivation and meaning provided by emotional input

Brands

‘When you buy something and experience pleasure you are more likely to repeat the experience and pay more for it..’

So how do you build an emotional connection and change behavioral patterns??

Instead of looking at the business problem of what is preventing the consumer from buying your product look at what is preventing them from the social aspects…

For example… Why is apple a far superior product? Because it contains social status and superiority… Win the social worth of a product and you will win business.