Are we stifling creativity with processes?

We were recently invited to a Mi Networking event in Leeds and decided that as the focus was about innovations in technology we would go along and see what it was all about. Honestly expecting to hear about the advancements in social media (again) and how it’s imperative to ‘engage’ and ‘share’ with your audience, we were pleasantly surprised to be confronted by Dave Birss.

In order to give you some background, Dave is a creative but that doesn’t really do him justice. He has worked for some of the world’s largest agencies and has written books and created websites and apps more or less in some instances because he could. They are funny, quirky, interesting and in most cases useful – well other than ‘are you an asshat’.

What made him different was his enthusiasm for genuine creativity – not pretty pictures or the latest App that delivers very little but you can watch in 3D! – but real life examples of pushing the boundaries beyond brand.

During the session Dave focused on taking education and creating inspiration. He explained that creativity is stifled with process and I’m inclined to agree. We all get so caught up in systems, processes and procedures that we think in a linear way, without even recognising that we are doing it. This was lesson one for me!

He then went on to explain that if your creative idea doesn’t make a real difference you need to change the way that you are thinking – which is exactly what he did. He shocked me a little by announcing that not every brand needs social media. I thought I was pretty alone with this school of thought but apparently not. He, like me, feels that it’s more important to identify with the consumer behaviours of a product or service before jumping on a bandwagon and that traditional mediums can still deliver excellent results and jaw dropping impact.

Dave kept coming back to the same thing time and time again with the examples that he was showing – ideas, ideas and more ideas. He shared some websites, which some of you may be familiar with but I certainly wasn’t – Kickstarter as an example. This is a site which allows you to showcase an idea in a bid to generate funding. Those who like the idea will purchase the product in order to allow you to invest further in its development. What an amazing concept.

Then there was his thoughts on how in order to create truly integrated campaigns all of the technologies need to work together. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Dave wasn’t suggesting you make a design work across platforms or look pretty on an iPhone but that one concept, creative or theme was used across platforms and performed in a different way to add value to the user. So you could have one campaign with multi-purpose depending on what platform the consumer chose to use. Brilliant!

A lot of what Dave said made perfect sense, although it became frighteningly apparent that his passion for technology goes well beyond that of most people when he started to show individuals who are linking their nervous systems to computers and implanting chips in their bodies to create additional senses – hmmm, I’ll leave that one for now thanks.

As a result of the session we were buzzing and although a lot of what Dave said would fit into the ‘oh, of course’ category, it was a real pleasure to watch and learn about technology from the perspective of a true creative.

For more details about Dave Birss visit:   http://userguidetothecreativemind.com/davebirss/index.html

So thank you Mi Network for inviting us to this event. It was a great opportunity to take some time out and get back to what we are good at; getting excited over ideas, proposals and the brands we work with.