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Aaaa’s planning conference- day one- sir ken robinson

August 6, 2007

The first day at the AAAAs Account Planning conference in San Diego started with a bang, straight out of the gate, Sir Ken Robinson set the stage with an inspiring address about the human resource crisis and suggested building and nurturing creative cultures as the only way out.

Sir Ken suggested, as many others have done before, that we are entering a period of perpetual change, where creativity and innovation are the only solutions to gain competitive advantage.

He also noted some other problems:

1. Our perception of creativity and intelligence

There is little recognition that the two are linked. You can’t be creative and intelligent and visa versa. In fact, it seems that planning thrives on this perceptual division.

2. Our narrow definition of creativity.

It’s not just art, design and communication. There can be creative approaches to process- he cited Wal-Mart or adding a culture around coffee like Starbucks has done.

3. The creative ghetto

Putting the responsibility for all things creative in the hands of one department negates the creative capacity of the whole organization.

4. Our education system

A system that beats creativity out of kids.

Sir Ken noted that being creative requires people to DO something– people have to make something, they can’t just think about it. So the secret is to help people find their outlets- the best medium for their expression.

Creativity, like intelligence comes in different flavors.

He challenged the audience to consider the questions:

    How are you intelligent?

    How are you creative?

Sir Ken’s secrets for creative success were all about having teams of people who were multi-disciplinary and had the power to take ideas upwards. He also mentioned the importance of creative workspaces as they are both reflections of the corporate culture and play a vital role in stimulate employees imagination. Companies need to strive to create the ideal conditions where creativity can blossom.

Finally, he challenged everyone too aim high and succeed because too often we aim low and succeed.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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