Creativity in Business Joseph F.X. Zahra Joseph F.X. Zahrais co-founder & Managing Director of MISCO (Market Intelligence Services Co. Ltd.), with special responsibilities for the People Management and Development Unit of the Company, Managing Director of MISCO International Ltd., and Director of Impetus Europe Consulting Group Ltd. He has held top public positions, amongst which those of Chairman Bank of Valletta, Malta’s foremost Bank, Chairman for the Malta Council for Culture & the Arts, Chairman of Malta’s National Euro Changeover Committee and Malta’s National Council for Higher Education.
CONTEXT Moving away from “scientific management”, from F.W. Taylor’s “in the past man has been first; in the future the machine must be first”
The move towards modern management M = Technical Manager (TM) + People Manager (PM)
Holistic Management People Manager = Leadership= Organiser (O) + Motivator (M) + Developer (D) + ????
Today’s world • Technology • Democratisation • Education • Discerning and demanding customers • Globalisation meaning rationalisation, standardisation, higher efficiency • Cost effectiveness: value for money • “Back to basics” values • Diversity • Intense competition meaning a search for the leading edge
Now! get better and/or get different
RED OCEAN Compete in existing market space Beat the competition Exploit existing demand Align the whole system of a firm’s activities with its strategic choice of differentiation at low cost BLUE OCEAN Create Uncontested market space Make the competition irrelevant Create and capture new demand Align the whole system of a firm’s activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost Red Ocean VERSUS Blue Ocean StrategyW. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne
TIMES CHANGED… • “Products for average looking women.” early 1970s – a renowned cosmetics company. • Such Marketing mediocrity worked, then. • Forget Normal, think Abnormal. • The average is on the verge of extinction. • Normal is the road to Nowhere. • Maximize every ounce of creativity and inspiration to nurture innovation. J. Ridderstrale & K. Nordstrom
THE PEACOCK’ S TAIL • Peahen: Wow! What a guy! Is he alive?! Because he shouldn’t be!! If he can survive with such a flamboyant outfit you must have some extra energy, be really smart or have some really good genes. The peahen goes crazy! It’s the theory (or the tale) of “ a credible handicap” !
Research in neuroscience has shown that... • The brain’s limbic system which governs our feelings is much more powerful than the neo cortex which controls intellect. • Doing “meaningless” things to get potential partners to think: That Guy must have some extra energy, be really smart…
“The Economies of Soul” • Create emotional experience • Manipulate moods • Seduction or sedation • Ambiguity pays. • BMW and GUCCI are substitutes for Prozac.
The next step: • The evolution of the Creative Company • That necessitates a Creative Management • M=TP + PM • PM = L (achieving results through people) • PM = L = O + M + D + Innovator (I)
David Ogilvy “our business needs a massive transformation of talent . . . . and talent, I believe, is most likely to be found amongst non-conformists, dissenters and rebels”
? “I never, ever thought of myself as a businessman. I was interested in creating things I would be proud of.” Richard Bronson
? “Are there enough weird people in the lab these days?” Vice Chairman of a large pharmaceutical company to his lab director
Transformation… • Agricultural Age (farmers) • Industrial Age (factory worker) • Information Age (knowledge worker) • Conceptual Age (Creators and empathizers) Dan Pink: “A Whole New World”
Business needs change Ideas, ideas, ideas… Product development and innovation New brands and new designs Needs that are TRULY the needs of clients. How best to use information communication technology How best to keep talent
How can business respond to this? • Need for empowerment • Need for initiative • Need for product development/differentiation • Need to see clients as the weave of society’s fabric • Need to rethink and reengineer processes • Need to improve quality continuously
from HR to HED HUMAN ENABLEMENT DEPARTMENT Tom Peters
NOTE: “I never discovered anything with my rational mind” Einstein
NOTE: “intuition is not a dirty word” Einstein
How does business respond? • A more open management – empowerment of people • Listening more to customers • Suggestion schemes • Training in creativity • Creativity and Innovation in all business schools • Teamwork at the shop floor • Total Quality Management • Getting artists to the boardrooms • Getting artists talking to management • The Balanced Scorecard
Which means: not being afraid of making mistakes! “Reward excellent failures, punish mediocre success” Phil Daniels, Sydney executive
Microsoft “If Microsoft is good at anything, it’s avoiding the trap of worrying about criticism. Microsoft fails constantly. They’re eviscerated in public for lousy products. And yet – they persist, through version after version, until they get something good enough” Seth Godin: “Zooming”
Business reaction The importance of innovation… which can only take place if there is space for Creativity
The Paradigm Shift “ The paradigm is not based on established principles or existing technology, much less conventional wisdom or research. It relies on the rock’ n’ roll spirit of rebellion, anarchy, enthusiasm, iconoclasm, boundless self belief and give-it-a-go chutzpah.” Stephen Brown: “Wizard! Harry Potter’ s Brand Magic”
TENSIONCreativity through Destruction • Choice – Build or Destroy? • Globalization and micro cultural awareness • Digitisation and Democracy : the digital native and “the” native • Privacy and Claustrophobic Security • Customer Demand and Customer Menace • Regulation and Competition • Public and Private Partnerships and Chaos • Creativity and Commoditised Creativity?
QUESTION Would we need to redefine Creativity?
Creativity in Business. Joseph F.X. Zahra