s promised in the last issue of Monsters Unmuted, we are introducing our values, one by one, over the next few weeks. Deliberately top of the list for a company who ‘bring creativity to work’, is…
We are constantly looking to be creative
Most of us have an arts background, which means the creative process was ingrained in how we learnt to work. Theatre, music, art, dance, film, storytelling, poetry; all means of creative expression and all applicable in some way to the challenges of business. Really? This might not be everyone’s first thought, but our job is to bring a different perspective to business challenges, to push the creative possibilities and have fun doing it.
As ex-diplomat, Sir Mark Allen, advised a group of young leaders when discussing diplomacy and relationships “… avoid most business books and instead pick up a novel or go to the movies, because … the treasure-house of human experience is contained in the arts”
We think he has a point. A quick glance through our client folders shows how we’ve helped leadership teams to perform an opera on the theme of ‘possibilities’; consider sales relationships through ballroom dance; use Gaudi’s art and design to inform an IT transformation project and utilised Dave Brubeck’s Take 5 to explore innovation. But whilst we may always find some inspiration from Shakespeare or Stravinsky, we also look for creative input across the cultural landscape.
As Alan will point out when asked, ‘Creativity is the effective application of the imagination’. Thus, you can find creative inspiration just as easily from Stephen Hawking as you can from Shakira, Snoop Dogg or Salvador Dali (creativity is available from people without the letter S in their names too). The best artists/scientists/business leaders and the rest have found a way to express their imagination and the best of the best, truly elevate the human condition. Why would we not want to bring some of that creativity to work?
We are curious about ourselves, our clients, their work and the world
In our role as conference designers and facilitators, we’ve been very privileged to hear inspiring stories from some remarkable people; astronauts, Olympic medalists; mountaineers, diplomats, business leaders, T-Shirt bakery owners (we put this in specially for Johnny Cupcakes) and many writers and broadcasters.
One of the speakers that we have quoted for years, is Bob Lukefahr – a futurologist. We were working with bp at the time and he was predicting the future energy picture for the next 50 years. It was an interesting and thought-provoking presentation, but there was one phrase that he used at the end of his talk that we took to heart.
“I urge you to remain intensely curious”
Whether it’s because at the time we were younger and more impressionable, who knows, but it stuck, and became a mantra for the company. We became curious and interested in learning about everything and mostly, everyone.
It led us to saying yes to many adventures and learning about and participating in a wide variety of businesses across the globe. We are fortunate and grateful to have made so many friends along the journey, such as our partners at One Philosophy in Ukraine, who have really encouraged our curiosity and learning as a company.
There is always something interesting to discover about people and when you find a leader who is passionate about their role, it is a joy to encourage them to tell you about themselves, what they do and why. Ultimately, most of our inspiration comes from the people we get to know well and work with, undertaking bold creative journeys together. This in turn has led us to learn more about ourselves, our mindset and behaviour and we have taken great pleasure in bringing that learning to life for others too.
We are determined to encourage your creativity
If we had to own up to the way we have most fun, it is at the intersection of creative ideas and collaborative clients. The creative process is about testing and trying ideas and being courageous in their execution, especially in the face of criticism or fear of failure.
When our clients place their trust in us and say yes, they are most often rewarded with a special shared experience … and so are we. We will often be the ones who arrive with a creative suggestion, but when teams pick up that ball and run with it, there is an incredible excitement and energy.
Like everyone else, we have had to transfer several planned face-to-face events from a physical to a virtual venue. One of our favourite clients refers to this challenge as a ‘beautiful constraint’. We need to use plenty of creativity to ensure we keep our audience fully engaged as they join individually from their homes. But for us, there’s something much more exciting, triggering creativity in the participants.
We thrive on connecting people, creating an experience that is meaningful and memorable and that is still possible online. We won’t go into details for this specific event – we can’t because we’re planning it with our client and partners now – but it’s fair to say that the best thing about this ‘Festival of Creativity’ will be the collective contribution of the delegates, rather than all that we do. As the pandemic has shown, it can be seriously uplifting to witness great creative moments; online choirs, kitchen recreations of great sporting achievements, in-house proms and the rest. But, there is one thing that tops that experience and that is being part of it, rather than a spectator.
You can find our other values here.
As always, if you are looking to inject some creativity into your teams and organisations, get in touch. Stay safe, and we look forward to hearing from you.