Jeff Bezos’s announcement on “60 Minutes” that Amazon is about to launch a drone delivery system for select merchandise has set the cyberworld buzzing. While “Prime Air” deliveries are unlikely to take off before 2015 (at the earliest), this improbable innovation is a perfect example of what branding and strategy firm, Lippincott (think Starbucks, Coca Cola and Samsung) would describe as “design thinking” or “the fusing of creative and open-ended with the analytical and operational.”
In short, creativity is not limited to the traditional performing, visual or literary arts or allied professions. It is a visionary, disruptive approach that takes in all elements of our experience and re-imagineers them in entirely new and unexpected ways.
This is both bad news and good news. School systems bent on testing the creativity out of students (future innovators) or companies fixated solely on the next quarterly report rarely support the occasionally risky detours that foster similar breakthroughs. But those who toil in creative occupations (however you define them) or for enlightened organizations may soon demonstrate their worth as “significant drivers of innovation and economic growth.”
How to create a more creative work environment? Some suggestions from Lippincott:
1. Encourage cross-pollination between the “suits and the creatives” by building on individual passions and talents that can contribute to a shared love for “the experiential and emotive.”
2. Break down barriers and let people figure out the best way to work together most effectively.
3. Get out of the bubble. Everyone has an idea to contribute so don’t limit “deciders” to the usual suspects.
4. Think big. Don’t limit yourself to incremental change.
5. Focus on the journey (the creative collaboration) not the destination (the ultimate output.)