During a field trip in 1941, Swiss engineer George de Mestral spotted a plant which stuck to his dog’s hair. Having a “knack” for exploration, he began to study it, noticing tiny hooks that could easily stick to different surfaces. It was, of course, the plant known as “burdock”, which inspired him to produce Velcro, often treated as an accidental invention.
Personally, I find that nothing happens by accident. Each invention was the result of a particular process of a creative mind, and every human being is creative by nature, only this ability is often neglected (because of people close to us who create blockades during our childhood) or insufficient exercise (because of the nature of work). The difference between people is in a well-practiced creative process.
Creatives in advertising agencies exercise their creative “muscle” a lot, and the trend is their widespread use. This is how we at the agency help organizations solve various business challenges. Personally, I have so far led about twenty workshops together with employees of various knowledge and skills from organizations: the use of custom-made tools, or for example, designing new products or work processes, etc. Successful organizations know that without creativity, they cannot grow and often even survive, and that creativity needs to be present everywhere, not just in the marketing sectors.
I’ve always loved the thought of writing and sorting things into boxes, which is why many who know me probably find me irritating. I developed this technique because of teamwork at an agency when “putting things on paper” helps with understanding, linking and better ideas. Over time, we tried out different tools, combined them and created our own. Still, the tool itself does not mean much without a good mentor. Often, the workshop participants later told me – we tried it ourselves, but it was not the same without you.
We enter this process free of burden, unlike the clients who have a different perspective. We can help them “unlock” their creative doors, and they have the expertise to come up with relevant solutions with our help. At one time I was surprised by the creative potential of oil engineers. Still, it’s not easy to come up with really innovative ideas, which account for maybe 2% of all ideas. It is important to know how to ask the key question, to find the core of the problem. What often presents a challenge is both the superiors and subordinates who are in the same room, as is the energy of the room which we work in, and it is not easy with constantly on-duty sceptics either. All of this is natural, but solvable for a creative mentor who, through open and skillful communication, without judgment, will know how to encourage every person. Because when the culture of feedback is not good, we go down the road of introversion and stagnation.