E23: How can you become more creative?

Are you born creative or is it a skill you can cultivate? Life Collective’s Michelle Cox taps three creative types, Jim Ritchie, Tom Meredith and James Hyde, and finds out how they get in the zone.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 23 HERE

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Life Collective is a podcast about how to make life work

Join our lively conversation about how to make life work, at the bottom of this article. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

To rate, download and subscribe to Life Collective, jump onto iTunes and catch new episodes and hear more interesting conversations we’re having about life and stuff.


Links to some of the things Jim, Tom and James touched on:

  • Learn about the life of Dr Edward de Bono, the inventor of lateral thinking, his books, his ideas and the courses that can improve the way you think by training your brain for success here.

    • More on Dr de Bono’s Six Hats system, a parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved here.

  • Ideation isn’t just a buzzword - it’s about employing curiosity, empathy and understanding to come up with ideas to solve a problem or brief. Here are some techniques to get your next ideation session going. Some tools the team uses:

    • Mind mapping

    • Research is crucial like keeping up with who is doing industry-best work:

    • Site like Brand New blog

    • Listening to music

    • Always carrying a notepad and pen

    • Taking a different route to work or home

  • Do advertising creatives rehash the same old tropes? If so, that’s because there are only seven basic types of stories. But it’s how you tell the story that makes it stick. That’s where creativity and innovation lies. Here’s what Adweek has to say on the matter.

  • Jim quoted pre-WWII American ad man James Webb Young on the characteristics of a creative person:

    • “Every really good creative person in advertising has always had two noticeable characteristics. First, there was no subject he could not easily get interested in...Second, he was an extensive browser in all sorts of fields of information. For it is with the advertising man as with the cow: no browsing, no milk.”

    • More Webb Young quotes here.

    • Can’t get enough of James Webb Young? He wrote the A Technique for Producing Ideas in 1939, a five-step process for producing ideas.

  • Almost 30 years after advertising doyen Sir John Hegarty spotted the line "Vorsprung durch Technik" at an Audi factory and made it a globally recognised ad slogan, the car manufacturer has won a long legal battle to take full control of it as a trademark. Full story here.

    • Hegarty’s BBH London brand platform for Audi spawned some fantastic ads. Read the origin story here.

    • Watch Jim’s favourite Audi ad here.

  • According to research procrastinating can boost your creativity. Phew! Leonardo Da Vinci was a famous procrastinator. He finished the Mona Lisa in 1517 despite having started it in 1503.

  • Curious about the daily routines of geniuses? The Harvard Business review is one step ahead of you - read more here. Apparently all great minds don’t think alike - check out this comparative analysis of creative geniuses from Mozart to Dickens and Murakami to Picasso.

  • Who do you find inspirational in the creative sense?

    • For Tom it’s:

    • For Jim it’s all about the creative output, “the work” - and Einstein’s quotes, lots of fabulous Einstein quotes, like this one:

      • “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”

      • More Einstein quotes.

    • For James his heroes in the creative space are:

      • Famous designers like Michael Bierut of Pentagram and Sal Bass touted as the best designer of the 20th Century.  

  • Australian Cricket Captain Steven Smith for his creative setting of the field.

Tom Meredith

Tom Meredith

James Hyde

James Hyde

Jim Ritchie

Jim Ritchie

 

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