Chris is a specialist in ethical marketing and former creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. He addressed conference delegates on ‘the importance of thinking creatively in the business world’, incorporating interactive elements in his speech to give delegates the chance to actively explore new ideas.
Chris opened with an explanation of why it is so necessary today to reignite the innovative way of thinking we often see in children. He described himself as a “fuzzy thinker in a linear world”, and explained that “if we want to achieve things, we’ve got to throw a lot of the rules out”.
He went on to ask why the symbol for creative ideas has always been the light bulb, discussing how the image still has strong ties with its invention and how Thomas Edison placed a lot of importance upon perseverance. He cited how Edison had made over a thousand attempts before he was ultimately successful, saying that “every one of his attempts was not a failure because he learnt something along the way”.
The presentation went on to explore how quickly the world is changing, and how this makes it even more necessary to think creatively with our businesses. Illustrating this point, Chris stated that it took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million listeners and 13 years for television to reach 50 million viewers, but it took just four years for the internet to attract 50 million users.
Although the ways we are consuming are changing rapidly, Chris emphasised that human needs don’t change. He drew attention to a recent survey of 300,000 people, which showed that individuals talk about brands 20 per cent online, but they are still talking about them offline for 80 per cent of the time.
Chris placed great emphasis on the importance of looking at problems from different perspective, referring to an old Chinese proverb that says “you can’t go straight until you’ve decided not to go left or right”. He told delegates that “creativity consists of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do know”.
As another example, Chris explained how Playdoh was originally used to remove soot from walls. A child picked it up one day, started modelling with it and Playdoh as we know it was created.
Closing his speech, Chris encouraged delegates to always challenge their thinking, asserting that “‘why’ is the most important three-letter word”. He said that we should not be afraid to fail: “we are entrapped by rules…the biggest thing that holds us back is fear”.
Footage of Chris’s speech will be available soon.