There’s little doubt that we live in a time of rapid change. How we work is changing, and why. We face an era of increasing artificial intelligence, a widening gap in the distribution of resources, and a greater need than ever to create businesses that are both for profit and for purpose, which are agile and dynamic.

This need to innovate, or stagnate, is forcing businesses to think outside the box—to evolve quickly and imagine their industries differently in order to stay ahead.

But, how do you stay agile and dynamic, future thinking and relevant? You need to be creative. Specifically, you need to tap into creative intelligence.

Your creative intelligence is your ability to think creatively, to innovate, solve problems and bring big ideas to life.

To do this, you need to use a different toolkit. Here’s what we keep in ours.

It begins with empathy.

Only through empathy, specifically cognitive empathy—which is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing the world from their point of view—can we gain critical insights into the needs of your customer, the gaps in how those needs are being met (or not), and how it feels to truly be them.

Once you’ve walked at least a mile in your customer’s shoes, you can begin to see what’s frustrating them. Whether they find your pricing too high, discovering what they feel is missing from your product or service, understanding what their pain points are. Empathy is the vital first step, and when used effectively, an incredible tool.

With these key insights in hand, the next tool to pull from your kit is imagination. 

Specifically, the ability to imagine differently.

What if, knowing what you now know about your customer, you could open your mind to a world of possibilities? To do so, you have to let go of what you hold dearly. You have to be willing to take risks, and test new ideas. Could it be that a small change would make an enormous difference to your customer?

There will be a lot of questions at this point, many of which begin with ‘what if…’

What if we added a new feature?

What if we changed the pricing model?

What if we added different purchase options?

What if we created a user experience that shifted their perspective?

What if we added customer service? Changed our hours? Offered delivery? Gave the customer new options?

There are always new possibilities to explore, and plenty of wonderful new ways for technology to make the once impossible, possible. 

Once you’ve decided what could be changed, and how, inviting your customer to experience it requires the next tool—bold ideas.

What will be the hook to your campaign? And how will it draw in your customer? This requires bold, inviting and creative ideas. From the ideation behind a marketing campaign, to the design thinking that takes the central concept and applies it to every critical customer touch point, this stage is truly where the fun begins—but, you have to be willing to be bold.

If your insights are valid, and your problem solving has repositioned, reinvented or disrupted your product or service in such a way that it’s going to be desired by your customer, it’s time to go hard or go home.

Using the insights you have gained about your customer, you now have the chance to create a campaign that is so intuitive to their needs, they will feel as though you are speaking just to them. You’ve heard their frustrations, you’ve reimagined an intelligent and effective solution, and now you’re going to show them just how well you’ve listened to their needs, by engaging them with your ideas, your humour, your creativity and your understanding of their needs.

To truly innovate, you must be creative. And, like every critical business resource, it’s worth investing in.

Creativity is a specialist skill, that thrives on the opportunity to play with new ideas and approach challenges from different perspectives.

Our creative intelligence is built on a diversity of skills and experience. Music, film and writing, form our artistic core. Specialist degrees in humanities, law, communications, marketing, cultural studies and sociology, our intellectual core. 

When combined with years of advertising and media experience, and our work in the innovation and education sectors, what we have is a truly rich and diverse resource of creative intelligencethat I’d invite you to tap into.

If you’re curious to learn how your business, cause or idea could benefit, please feel free to get in touch

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