When you work for a new media marketing company creative thinking is a necessary part of the equation. You have to be able to strategize and be creative because after all we are in new unchartered territory. Essentially you have to think outside of the box. Luckily for me I am married to one of those “out-of-the-box” thinkers who lives her life by this motto.
My wife, Kelly, runs a company called Messy Monkey Arts which is a creative team building company. Well, while we were in South Africa for the past 4 months Kelly met a group of incredible “creative consultants” many of whom are involved with all kinds of “corporate training” and “creative thinking” programs at UCT Business School. UCT business school is doing some really great stuff with the corporate and political leaders on the African continent and is competing directly with some of the big business schools of the world.
Kelly and I will be returning to South Africa in August so that Kelly can work on two projects – the Think Indaba (a gathering of 30 leaders from Africa) and Creategy (Creative Strategy thinking for business leaders). What this is all about is the melding between creativity (defined as out of the box thinking) and strategy (this definition is going through a process of redifinition).
This melding of creativity and strategy talks to a new and interesting development in the office world. The ending of “linear” thinking as the dominant and rational approach to business and the recognition that non-linear and abstract thinking in great part driven and motivated by creative thinkers (essentially wacky creativity) have huge benefits to companies and executives.
The person running the Creategy program is a guy by the name of Jon Foster-Pedley who has worked in high-powered executive jobs, been a “travel bum” and much more. While the Think Indaba forms part of the Executive Leadership Program at UCT pulls in people like Robert Poynton who is one of the co-founders of On Your Feet which is essentially an agency of creative wacky thinking people that help you to have a good time and think creatively and rejuvinated when returnign to the office. This is essentially what Kelly’s company, Messy Monkey Arts does.
I think that this is an interesting emergent field filled with all kinds of great potential and that the thinking that this group of people are workign on propagating is somethign that you will see increasingly play a part in media campaigns and branding concepts. Bringing in a team like On Your Feet or Messy Monkey Arts into your brainstorming sessions not only will play to the benefit of the company team moral but also to the opening up of new ideas.
I am excited to go back to South Africa and see what all of these people do and can put together. Keep your eye on this space for followup’s in August to how all of this pans out.