We Wonder

Dig into MBA's Daily Creative Nibble. A slice of what we snack on daily. With eyes bigger than our stomachs our leftovers are enough to fill any creative appetite. So stuff your face and enjoy. Photobucket

How To Be More Creative

1. When you’re in a blue room, you’re more creative.

2. You’re more creative when you’re a bit groggy.

3. People who daydream more score higher on creativity tests.

4. If you imagine yourself as a 7-year-old, you have more ideas.

5. Watching a comedy video makes you more creative just afterwards.

6. If you think the creativity puzzles come from another country or state, rather than your own local university, you’re more creative.

7. Use more generic verbs to describe your challenge.

8. If you sit next to a box (but not in it) you’re more creative.

9. Students who’ve lived abroad are more creative.

10. When people move to a bigger city they become more creative.

Via Kieth Sawyer

GQ Style piece by Benja of Paper Form

GQ Style piece by Benja of Paper Form

Innovation Storytelling and How to Sell Ideas

  1. Keep it real: Concrete ideas are more memorable than abstract ones.  Tell stories that relate to the audience in a way they can “wrap their head around it.”  With innovation, this means conveying not the features of a new concept, but the benefits and value it delivers in terms the everyday person can understand.
  2. Appeal to emotion:  Humans make emotional decisions, so your stories need to touch the heart. With innovation, this means telling a story about how people’s lives will be transformed because of the new concept. 
  3. Use the element of surprise:  Stories that have a sudden twist or surprise are memorable.  With innovation, that means starting with a story that seems to confirm what your audience believes.  Then you surprise them with evidence to the contrary.  People remember what they “un-learn” and “re-learn.”
  4. Recast your audience into the story:  Paul says you should put your target audience into the plot of the story.  Make them “walk it” with you.  Involving them makes it more memorable than just telling them about it.  With innovation, this means helping your audience imagine using the new concept, creating it, or perhaps selling it to a customer.  Get them to “taste it.”
via Innovation in Practice

Creativity Does Not Equal Innovation

Innovation and Creativity are words that are at times used interchangeably in the research and development process, but they have two distinct meanings. While creativity is about coming up with the big idea, innovation is about executing the idea and making it a business success. Do not confuse the two. An organization can certainly have creativity without the right steps to implement innovation.

Innovation implementation calls for a robust, disciplined strategy. It can not be a one-time process, but must occur over and over again to form a steady flow of innovation that sustains long-term profitability. The only way to achieve that is by bringing focus, a road map, screening criteria, and checkpoints to the new product development (NPD) process.

Many innovation leaders are concerned that adding structure will dampen creativity, but in my experience, structure can actually free the creative spirit. By applying structure that adapts to the needs, size, and culture of an organization, a leader can draw both creativity and innovation out of its team members. Here are some tips for attaining that winning combination.

  • Hold ideation sessions with a diverse and highly charged creative people in your organization – and be sure to keep any restraints off. Do not ignore or override any input from the team. Practical, real world filters can always be added later on, but you want to capitalize on all ideas early in the process.
  • Keep track of meeting decisions and next steps. Delegate responsibility and encourage ownership.
  • Use your motivational skills by creating clear and unwavering deadline pressure, while reinforcing and praising their incremental progress. Apply “Trust with verification”
  • Give team members some incentive for their contributions and achievements. This does not necessarily have to be money – often recognition is a key driver for creative players in your organization; make them the initiative Champion, offer recognition among peers.
  • Create an environment where mistakes are tolerated and free of punitive measures. Remember, the creative process is a ratio, so more attempts at success naturally equates to more failures along the way. Managing failure as a learning experience lets your creatives feel safe and empowered to do their best work.
  • Provide regular feedback and keep the lines of communication open throughout the NPD process.

Last but not least consider some defined “Free Time” with unlimited creativity but accountability to report the outcome aligned with the company Vision, Mission and Strategy.

via Innovation Excellence

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

6 things i learnt at SXSW Interactive

1. Digital is not a medium; it is the age we are living in.

Digital-first brands are intentionally designing to be distinctive, relevant and active. Distinctive in their approach to storytelling, relevant by becoming personal and meaningful, and active by understanding social media has changed the frequency of interaction to real-time. As such, consumers now expect responsiveness from brands and digital is one of the only mediums to allow for this. Facebook recognised the importance that storytelling will play in a brand’s online identity. The new timeline feature will force brands to look not only at their past but also tell a ‘tell a story’ through the conversations on their page. Even through other brands that they ‘like’.

Digital-first brands recognise that technology can help them tell a better story, allowing their brand to exists within that experience. These brands play with interaction and engagement. They don’t do this by sprinkling some ‘social salt’ on top of a TV campaign or adding some ‘digital spend’ to tick a box. They understanding their customers behavior online and using multiple channels, technologies and interfaces to tell a better story, providing value of some sort.

2. Maybe, “ad-agency” is a dirty word.

There is no question where the innovation in technology is coming from. Brands when striving for innovation seem to always be on the back foot and agencies are simply not re-creating and re-inventing themselves enough to lead innovation. By lifting my head up from my clients business and immersing myself in the hungry start-ups world, I learnt that in comparison, these young, resourceful fearless entrepreneurs are quick to adapt and learn. They are about building for the long-term and for their own idea’s investment. They take serious risks in a sea of uncertainty and maybe as a result, with learnings applied over and over again, their ideas can shift the World to a new way of thinking, doing or ‘playing’. As an agency, we need to not be afraid to fail, measure our mistakes, build and learn from them.

3. We need a new agency structure.

What happens when you put a technologist, a developer and a creative in a room?

I believe at the very least you will drive debate and foster an approach that does not live and die by a TV, outdoor or online idea. We will develop more rounded multi-platform ideas based on user experience and behavior; ideas that integrate open source, real-time data, new technologies, platforms and story telling. These are the ideas that change the game. Ideas that can be useful, entertaining and insightful.

Technology and our love for it are simply moving too fast for the old-World agency structure to yield new-World ideas. Designers are strategic, engineers innovative and as such, traditional creatives need to understand platforms, limitations of code and APIs. As Rei Inamoto said at SXSW, agencies need to encourage a structure where there is a hacker, hustler and hipster all working on a brief. Where the process is no longer linear and strategy, storytelling and software can integrate and collaborate.

4. Test, test and test again. Then quantify feedback and test again.

Design for interaction is about being iterative. A brand has the opportunity to live in the interface between brand and consumer not just on it. To do this, a brand must understand behavior, become responsive and test for every eventuality. Only then can the resulting solution be rooted in the needs and desires of the target audience or community. Eric Ries’ celebrated “Lean Start-Up” method talks of releasing a interactive design product before its ready. The product is built to think but launched to learn. Initial feedback on the product is viewed as only one source of information, so can only allow for only one design solution. So Ries adapted the product to the opposite of that requested in feedback for the next round of testing. Just like Obama’s UX designers tested web button copy and positioning during his electoral campaign, Ries promotes running behavioral experiments on your audience, focusing on the data of behavioral results. With data based on a scientific approach to interactive design, your success will be determined on your ability to listen to multiple sources of feedback and turn this around quickly and effectively.

5. How iconic brands tell stories.

If a brand exists within the experience, then storytelling should play a key role in enhancing that experience. Clever and iconic brands understand this through not only playing out different chapters in different media channels but also reconciling the tension within the story. Nike tell their story through the experience and identity of sporting heroes, moments and events. They understand a great story cannot be sustainable if constantly shrouded in tension. Sometimes, with Nike you don’t win silver, you lose gold and as such, audiences want to see what will happen next. Amazon is another great example, though not so much telling it’s own story, it allows the stories of it’s customers in the form of reviews to create the experience. As content begins to play to play more of a role within the strategies of brands, it will be interesting to see brands and their custodians design stories that can offer real value to their audience.

6. Data is beautiful…

Good data visualisation enables you to take information very quickly and process it. You can architect pause for thought by controlling the speed to which the viewer digests the story. As data becomes real-time and open-source platforms allow for mash-ups to answer any need or desire, data visualisation offers brands another opportunity to tell their story. Whether it’s using circulation data from the Harvard library over the past 100 years http://librarylab.law.harvard.edu or the incredible stories that Scandinavian-based production house Miuta create using data http://vimeo.com/miuta brands have the opportunity to harvest another channel for storytelling. Data that is relevant, useful and or entertaining will allow for a deeper, richer brand experience.

via Alexa @Mediacomlabs

Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing & Daily Creative Routine

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’tcreateyou canwork.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book youarewriting.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.


Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.