Creative people invent, imagine, problem-solve, create, and communicate in new ways all the time. Today, every business requires creative thinkers in the form of scientists, engineers, technology innovators, business entrepreneurs, artists, writers and illustrators, designers, inventors, and educators.  Creative people have the unique ability to think outside of the box which will lead the future.

Are you looking to hire for creativity? It’s possible for everyone to nurture his or her creative side, but research shows that fresh ideas come more easily to some people than to others. So, what should you look for when hiring naturally creative people?

new study from Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen of BI Norwegian Business School has some suggestions. What you need to look for are traits that tend to be associated with highly creative individuals. To identify these characteristics, Martinsen gathered a group of artists, musicians, and marketing creatives and compared them with a control group of others in professions less associated with creativity. He found seven specific personality traits that stood out among the artistically inclined including:

Associative Orientation - Imaginative, playful, have a wealth of ideas, ability to be committed, sliding transitions between fact and fiction.

Need for Originality - Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude because of a need to do things no one else does.

Motivation - Have a need to perform, goal oriented, innovative attitude, stamina to tackle difficult issues.
Ambition - Have a need to be influential, attract attention and recognition.

Flexibility - Have the ability to see different aspects of issues and come up with optimal solutions.

Low Emotional Stability - Have a tendency to experience negative emotions, greater fluctuations in moods and emotional state, failing self-confidence.

Low Sociability - Have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people.

Martinsen noted that creative people are not always equally practical and performance oriented, and advising that an employer looking to bring creativity into her organization would be wise to conduct an analysis to weigh the requirements for the ability to cooperate against the need for creativity.



Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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Calling all Creatives, Brand Strategists, Designers and anyone charged with shaping the future -You are invited to join a New World Re-Imagined.

Welcome to Foresight & Trends 2013 (FT'13), formerly known as Future Trends, exploratory experiences that translate visionary knowledge into a strategic plan for capturing future opportunities. The new website is now live and the full program is available for download.

From prediction to implementation: build on what you currently know, add to what you don't, contextualize through pragmatic examples, Implement through workshop intensives, and find out exactly HOW to synthesize visionary knowledge and make it commercially relevant for you and your business.

FT'13  uncovers macro forces that are shaping the future - and dialogues around the trends that result from these global culture shifts - then translates these trends into opportunities that will ensure your future relevance and success.

Download the agenda to see the speaker faculty along with full detail on Contextualization sessions, Implementation workshops and Exploratory experiences which cater to the specific needs of YOUR role:
Innovation
Trends and Futuring

FT '13 is layered with exploratory experiences that take you outside the conference room and deep into the heart of Los Angeles for Culture Safaris, Trenz®Walks, and a narrated gallery tour of the infamous Artwalk district by a renowned graffiti artist and former gallery owner. This integrated content through experience approach results in a strategic action plan for capturing future opportunities...

It's all about the HOW not the what.      

FT13 - The antidote to conventional learning.

This is YOUR invitation to uncover and capture new opportunities and ensure future business relevance.

*Mention your blog reader code FT13BL to save 15% the standard rate today.
When the job is to come up with the next brilliant idea, against a deadline - through a combination of inspiration, hard work, intuition, and confidence - getting the best work out of creative people on a consistent basis can be tricky. 

“Creatives are individual people and have unique things that motivate them. So when you respect understand that, that’s a pretty good cocktail,” Evan Fry, executive director of creative development at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, recently told Co.Create.

CPB put Fry and creative director Dave Swartz in positions dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and organizing the agency’s creative departments. Those roles have allowed Swartz and Fry to focus on helping creative people succeed. As experienced creative leaders, they say the most important element in fostering the talent is instinct, but there are things that leaders can do to set its people up for success:

Fry and Swartz say a useful starting point for any creative company looking to evaluate how to foster its talent is to first look at the entity. “Ask questions like, 'what kind of team do we need here; what works well for the individual agency process that we have?' Every agency works differently, so different skill sets or different temperaments work better at different places,” explained Fry.

Fry says that he and Swartz took a creative inventory of each person’s skills in order to have an understanding of their talent. "We thought, What traits work best at CPB in those roles?" said Fry. "We got really clear about that, maybe for the first time, and put it down on paper. These are the skills people need for certain roles. If you have an objective assessment of everyone, you can work to optimize those strengths by assembling the right skills for projects.”

Cater to Strengths
Fry commented, "Certain creative talent responds really well to having a long leash, and we like to encourage CDs to let this happen with people we’ve identified as having the stuff to do it, no matter what their title may be or their level of experience. Sometimes people really respond to healthy competition. You’ll see it will inspire and motivate certain creatives to dominate and crush it, where others don’t respond to competition at all.”

Keep Your Hands Dirty
While Fry and Swartz are tasked with managing the agency’s talent, they also get involved in the work, be it running a pitch or covering a shoot. “We will be called in as a creative team so not only do we have our duties running the design department and helping art directors, we’re thrown into a pitch and will run those things and set the tone, and that helps. It’s leading by example,” said Swartz.

Creative people are often as protective of their process as they are of their ideas, but individual processes are prone to jams that outsiders are better equipped to see. “There can be some method to the creative madness,” said Fry. “In any process,  we kind of know the beats. We know there’s a client meeting, when they’ll want to see a strategy, then early work, then finished work. Sometimes helping someone is as simple as putting a calendar up and outlining when certain pieces get done or being clear about when they’ll get feedback on work.”
Create Healthy Confusion
While structure has its benefits, so does a bit of chaos, according to Swartz. When working with designers, it’s actually more productive to keep them busy with multiple projects at once. “There’s’ always a lot on everyone’s plate and that’s kind of by design because part of the creative process is incubating ideas. Idea incubation comes from when you read your brief, do a few hours of work, and then you stop.”

Fry said, “You can’t switch on unless you have an off position.” It may be easier said than done--many agencies, CPB included, have a reputation for tough hours. Fry says he and Swartz are working at being more conscious about keeping weekends a little more free at CPB, and that means getting everyone from account teams to CDs on board.

Creative talent lives to make stuff. When they’re not making things, they get unhappy, prone to relocate, or worse, creatively uninspired. So Fry says it’s important to ensure people are continually putting new work out into the world.

Make Retention a Choice
Creatives routinely switch agencies after a couple of years is accepted practice in advertising, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Part of their job is to foster an environment that people don’t want to leave. “Everyone’s going to get itchy feet here and there, and anyone who’s doing good work is going to get courted. But keeping your culture healthy is huge,” added Fry.

Fry says the creative management work he and Swartz do is about helping people take charge of their own careers. This can be through encouragement, organization, keen pairing, and sometimes offering really tough advice.  Fry said, “Sometimes saying the hardest thing is the best mentorship you can give, as opposed to letting someone stay in a rut.”


Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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It has been proven that packaging has a direct impact on sales, most notably in influencing many purchase decisions that take place at the point-of-sale. Over and over again, studies find that innovative packaging systems (new shapes, materials, dispensing systems, etc.) are very powerful in their ability to differentiate brands, justify price premiums and increase brand loyalty. The challenge, however, is to identify opportunities for innovation—and to measure the business value of packaging innovation.

Jane Chase, senior director, packaging innovation and R&D, The Schwan Food Co., recently sat down with Packaging Digest to discuss exactly how to drive innovation through collaborative packaging.  One of the keys to innovation is collaboration, according to Chase. Without gaining alignment with the other functional areas that are impacted by the change in the company early, package innovation will not happen.

“By insuring that your key partners-Marketing, Product Development, Process Engineering, Operations and Legal-are engaged in the development process, you allow them to become invested in the success of the project. Their input at key points in the development of the package innovation strengthens the design and produces a more robust commercializable package,” she explained.

But, a red flag that you're working with the wrong partner on a package innovation is missed deliverables early on in the process. “There are times where we as end users push our partners to commit to timing that they know is unattainable. A true partner is strong enough to call for reasonable time for development,” she added.

A lot of companies come to an end user with a new innovative technology that they would like to get commercialized, but sometimes the partner is unwilling to make changes because the development is done and you are just looking to sell the technology.

"It's really important that the partner be willing and able to make the technology work for your application,” she said.

Chase believes that brands need to design their packaging to optimize shelf space because, to a retailer, the bottom line is that shelf space equals money. The more productive a shelf space is in turning product and generating revenue, the more profitable the space is for the retailer and the producer.



Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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