Many argue that the ‘creative urge’ is an individualistic calling. Surely there is evidence of this from the commencement of civilization to the present time. However, the steady ascent of commercial (corporate) interest as the moving force of social change has led to the presently dominant model where, perhaps, no significant achievement can possibly happen without extensive collaboration, co-ideation and co-creation.
Any idea, any creative content which shows promise needs disciplined partnerships to grow to its full potential.
At first, let us recap the obvious points…
• Creativity needs inspiration
• It is not subject to a job title or department
• It is immune from the diseases of expertitis or hierarchyitis
• It needs intelligence primed up by inquisitiveness
• It demands boldness and a risk appetite fired by grand ambition
• It dies when it turns boring
Let us then summarise the commandments of collaborative excellence…
• It’s a game of people and ideas playing hide and seek
• Skilful application gets perfected through practice
• Originality is the key
Hungarian-British author and journalist Arthur Koestler has said, “The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers."
What is the agency dharma?
Being in the superior ideas business. In the artistic expression business. In the evocative writing business!
Not to be in the commodity business (‘Cheaper and OK’ is never equal to ‘expensive but great’)
To take pride in the work – the sofas, carpeting and interior décor is wonderful, but let’s please see the work.
Comfort with change
Challenging the mediocre but pretentious in any part of the external world
Being ready to opine and critique
The ultimate litmus test is if you are with interesting people. Folks who touch and interact with the fabric of everyday life
Only alive minds can tell great stories
What is the client dharma?
To begin with, shut up and listen
Don’t wear a false ‘professional marketer’ persona. Talk ‘regular’
Don’t let your ego delude you. Biases must be surgically removed; else even a small directional drift can take you to another continent altogether
When you speak, articulate the idea. Remember this is the ideas business – Mind can move matter
Appreciate and reward. Walk the talk
Train and externalise your skill building
A man with talent may not get his due perchance, but a man who gets elevated / rewarded must not be devoid of talent / merit
Think audience before the message
‘Congratulations’ and ‘complacency’ and often siblings
The consumer is the net client. Meet him / her along with your agency and spend time
The author is Marketing Director – India and South Asia, Visa. Views expressed here are personal