From Creativity to Value
We can not think of any time through the last 40 years that markets, businesses where trying not to sink harder than with this COVID-19 situation. Lockdowns, lack of spending by the consumer… It seems like economy is about to crack one day or the other. Only innovating companies will survive in such an unstable world nowadays. Those who can create, adapt, change are the ones that will be a step forward towards their competitors.
Recent studies show the 4 keys of creativity, and how to convert it into business value. The aim of this article is to try to get deeper into the issue, and try to think on real examples from each one.
Digital Leaders understand the issue of not being innovative as an organisation, so they try to become creativity leaders as well, as they will encourage people around them. They push everybody else towards a creative environment by being an example: they learn new things, try new things at any time. Their minds are always looking for opportunities from out-of-the-box solutions.
The commitment to creativity is also related with the way of budget’s investment. As a result of the investigation, top creative leaders do:
- Invest more in Marketing
- Have more and better Data Scientists (Cool!)
Founder and CEO of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla, Founder of The Boring Company… This could be a long list if completely made. Elon Musk is one of the most creative leaders, for his vision of how the future must be shaped, and his will to develop it by his own ways. As he said about his incredible and innovative ideas: “It’s somewhat clichéd but it happens a lot in the shower”. I should get showers more often, I guess.
Become customer fanatics
Customer must be at the center of everything you do, and Digital Leaders know it better than everybody else. At non-creative companies, limitless budget ends in empty surveys, perfectly made for getting the data that CXOs want to have, rather than getting the useful information that can make the business pivot.
Perfect Digital Leaders do:
- Advanced Analytics: May the key information of your product be in your own data. Do the customers do what they are supposed to do? When the user ends the use of your product? Is the money spent on Marketing converting to more new users? You have to be detail the behaviour of the customer to know which part of your product, marketing strategy or business model might be broke.
- Ethnographic research: qualitative method to observe and/or interact with the participants in their real-life environment. Even though it became popular in anthropology research, is very useful in user-centered projects: at the beggining of it or at a evaluation step, for deciding where to go next. One of the key advantages of this type of method is the possible identification of unexpected issues to be solved.
- Behavioural analysis: this science study how biological, pharmacological, and experiential factors influence the behavior of humans. It is an empirical science, meaning that empirical studies will be applied to a set of humans, to know how their minds work under some circumstances.
Pioneer of personal computers, his thought was to develop the product with the final user at the center. He designed Apple products with the obsession of having the best user experience. Every line, every screen, every key should be designed to help users do whatever they have to do. From software to hardware. No addition to the product will be made if it not perfectly matches how the user behaves when using it.
Feed the Need for Speed
Speed is a decisive factor in current business, and studies show that Digital Leaders with such an emphasis in speedy development outperform others that do not. New product launches, new marketing campaigns… Every product must be done with good quality at the maximum speed, for it to bring value to the company before their peers. Clear goals and rigor at the execution is also a must.
Having internal departments that try to think in ways of improvement the society, develop new projects as a new company with the environment and mentoring of a settled business, makes the great atmosphere for launching successes.
Google is a leader on innovation, as their employers work 20% on the projects/experiments that they want to. Alex Gawley is the founder of the Area 120 of Google, the department reserved to those “20% of your time” projects, for them to develop in a real new product as soon as possible.
The future is on this type of organisation, where it stimulates the creation of independent projects that could lead to an independent business growth, generating new business models, increasing benefits for the main company.
Adapt or die
Launching the product is just the beggining. Write it down, circle it and shout it loud. The innovation of an idea and the first project developed is just a step on the ladder of creativity to value. You will have to test it, bring it to the market and measure its success. Early market signals are very important when trying new projects, as they allow to pivot when needed.
Sticking to the first idea that came to our mind will make our project sink. Agile methods will help you iterate over and over, in a customer centric process that will lead to a better project. Being agile means evaluating every detail of the project, evaluating not only your clients, but also the market environment and new technologies.
Co-founder and Co-CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings has had to deal with a lot of pivoting during his excellent career. From starting with a movie delivery, to bringing it all to the internet, to produce movies by themselves. Reed Hastings knows better than anybody else that the world changes at a fast pace: they are now working with AR, trying to expand their production to different movie/serie themes…