Creativity has become synonymous with innovation. Innovation is the difference between thriving in this challenged economy and slipping further into extinction.

In a recent IBM study of 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries, the number one leadership competency of the future was cited as "creativity". That's because as the world becomes more complex, the ability to solve problems requires a creative approach to overcoming obstacles by thinking differently.

We're not just talking about blue skies, design and artistic applications. We're talking about the ability to tackle tough challenges by avoiding the obvious.
Incremental is not enough! Today's leadership calls for breakthrough. Wall street pressures are at an all time high, everyone from designers to line of business leaders need to retrain their minds to exercise both right AND left brain thinking.

Introducing a professional development solution that's answering the call to action in what many are calling the "creative state of crisis" : CLA.

To experience a little of what CLA is about, participate in lesson 4.

Better defined results and solutions. Creative problem solving requires attention to detail that you may have skimmed over in the past. By focusing on the details of the problem, we can create a more defined solution and a more defined action.

Enrollment limited to 150 . Sign up today to begin your journey January 16-18, 2012 at The Creative Leadership Academy.

Download the syllabus to learn more.

Engage with us. Join our communities to begin learning now:
In an upcoming webinar, "Tips for Building a Branded Social Game," sponsored by Vitrue, we'll explore one of marketing's fastest growing fields: social gaming, including how to simplify and beautify branded games.

Beyond the visible popularity of online social games such as Zynga’s FarmVille and Mafia Wars, social gaming while users are engaged with Facebook continues to grow as a tremendous marketing opportunity with approximately 320 million users playing social games each month.

In Vitrue's webinar on Tips for Building a Branded Social Game, learn best practices on how to increase engagement, acquire more fans and more all through the integration of your brand into a social game.

We'll show live examples of games, discuss the technique that they implement, including leaderboards, challenge-a-friend, in-game charitable giving, sweepstakes, giveaways and coupon integration. We'll also cover how to Simplify and Beautify your branded games. Talk will also include the pros and cons of building your own game versus trying to integrate with an existing mega-popular social game.

Register for this free session with priority code MWJ0012-BLOG here:

Plus, if you are using or considering using Facebook in your marketing campaigns, join us for this upcoming session:
How to Identify & Acquire 500,000 Customers on Facebook in 120 Days While Tracking and Maximizing Your ROI

This case study presentation will demonstrate a data-driven approach to identifying and acquiring your ideal customer on Facebook and effectively measuring ROI for your Facebook marketing initiatives. We will discuss:

• Why most brands are failing on Facebook
• Using deep data profiling to reach and expand your customer base on Facebook
• Understanding Noise and Connectivity and how they affect your brand's ability to communicate on Facebook
• Monitoring and Maximizing your brand's ROI for your Facebook marketing campaigns

Register here:
Last week I had the pleasure of attending an insight event presented by design consultancy Pearlfisher, exploring "The Future of Taste."

Pearlfisher had recently conducted a study on shifts in the world of food and drink and we were able to explore their insights through short videos and case studies on not only where we stand, but how we can use that insight to inspire new design.

Three main culture shifts were identified during the study:

- The desire for a healthier and more wholesome world, reconnecting with the origins of food and moving away from more commercialized options that the industrialized world has presented us with
From the origins of the moment with Alice Waters to food co-ops like The People's Supermarket and farmer's markets, there is a moment towards reconnecting with ingredients and finding a fun way to retrain ourselves how to eat healthily. This doesn't mean that we have to ignore design, but rather that design should reflect natural inspirations.

- The embrace of rich, time-honored experiences that center around food and food culture
Would you pay $10,000 for a six to eight week training in the art of butchery? Some meat fans would and do. On a more veggie-friendly note, do you savor the experience of taking a whole afternoon to cook your grandmother's tomato sauce recipe?  These food experiences are our heritage and in the spirit of reconnecting with ingredients, there is also a movement towards reconnecting with process and the past and that too can be reflected in design, but with a twist for a digital age.  

- A renaissance of creativity, and the mixing of art and fashion with food
Not everything is about organic sustainable farming, how about getting some hardcore Ice Cream at London's The Icecreamists or dining elevated high above city streets? Consumers may be moving away from quick, fast-food experiences, but that doesn't mean every meal has to be a hand made rustic salad, to the contrary, it opens up a desire for high-quality, immersive unique experiences. In this arena the world of Taste meets art and fashion for fun, sometimes edgy results.

With these themes in mind, Pearlfisher then created a case study brand that represented some aspect of insight into the future of taste. From the move towards natural, healthy choices came "Dirty Food," a program that educates children on growing food and reconnects us with the best that the natural world has to offer.

The logo was created with potato stamps to get the natural shapes desired.

From the embrace of heritage comes "Preserve," a digital community that saves the best food experiences our ancestors have to offer.

Cookbooks and packaging mantain a heritage, home-made feel.

Lastly from the meeting place between food and fashion came "Seasonaire" - an avant-garde, exclusive experience that operates as a fashion line with Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter offerings. In this design haute couture touches elevate this brand to something deeply special.

Overall it was an inspiring experience to see the insight process in action. What inspires you?

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