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Ben&Andrew’s

Guide to Creativity 300 responses

to the thinking of

Steve Jobs Ken Robinson Ed Catmull John Hegarty Twyla Tharp and Muhammad Yunus Made in one hour at Eurobest 2015. 1


Thanks

Tamika Abaka-Wood and Jenny Berglund

for working tirelessly to make sure every last detail has been covered and that this whole thing could actually happen.

Colm Roche

our designer, for being involved every step of the way from the concept for the book to giving us structure and rules that turn the pages of scribbles and script into a beautiful book.

David Burton

our illustrator, for the fantastic sketch notes that make sense of the games and stories.

Eurobest, specifically Louise Benson, Mark St. Andrew and Carolyn Hubbert

for inviting us to take part in the conference and supporting us through the challenge of making a book in an hour.

All of our contributors at the Eurobest Festival of Creativity

1–3 December 2015 for getting involved, sharing their worst fears, mistakes, dreams and ideas and trusting the whole process.

Š 2015 Ben&Andrew Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, without either the prior written permission of the publisher. Requests to seek permission should be addressed to the authors via the contact form on http://www.benandandrew.com Limit of liability: While the publisher and authors have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no warranties with the respect to the accuracy and completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability for a particular purpose. Also by Ben&Andrew: Ben&Andrew’s Bumper Book of Fun and Games (2015) Warning: written in one hour, so may contain typographic errors.


Ben&Andrew’s

Guide to Creativity 300 responses

to the thinking of

Steve Jobs Ken Robinson Ed Catmull John Hegarty Twyla Tharp and Muhammad Yunus Made in one hour at Eurobest 2015. 3


Images courtesy of Eurobest

5


Introduction Why did we write this book in such a ridiculously short space of time? Earlier this year we wrote a book in five days. In doing so we learned two big things. Firstly that it could be done. We could actually write a book in five days. But secondly, and more importantly, we learned a lot about how to accelerate the process of creativity. In addition to a time constraint to focus the mind, we found that the ingredients needed were: the right people at the back end (not too many, not too few, all expert in their own specific disciplines), a really solid plan and shape to the project, and a load of the right collaborators to cocreate the book with us.


So when we were approached by Louise Benson, Director of Lions’ Eurobest Festival of Creativity, to contribute to their three-day 2015 conference in Antwerp, we thought – great! Three days, that’s doable. Tight, but definitely possible.

ironically, most of them celebrate the lone creative. And while this might just be a consequence of copyright and authorship, it could also be an expression of our obsession with the cult of the lone genius or the idea of the auteur.

Then she told us we had an hour.

So our brief for our one hour slot at Eurobest became clear: could we write a book that not only celebrated the power and potential of collaboration, but also was made using collaborative processes?

*Gulp!* Okay. So we knew we had the right team. And with all of the Eurobest attendees at our disposal, that meant a heap of great collaborators. But the plan? The first question we needed to answer was what could we, as Ben&Andrew, add to the many creative conferences that go on around the world every year? When we thought back to the events we had attended in the past there was a common theme: in so many conferences there is a large group of people listening to a single person or small group on stage eulogising. What about all those people in the audience? Don’t they have something to add? So our first task became clear: to make the most of the many minds in the audience at Eurobest. With that in mind we began thinking about other examples of situations where single people spoke from on high and dictated the rules to others. There, on our shelves, among the many books on creativity (in business, at home, creativity in almost any imaginable situation) was the answer – the books themselves! Although many books about creativity talk about the importance of collaboration,

But hang on a minute. Isn’t our digital age fixated on collaboration – “Here comes everybody”, flash-mobbing the wisdom of crowds? What if it really took one person working alone to come up with genuine insight? And what if this was something that a crowd could not replicate and, more detrimentally, might compromise by working together? So, from our bookshelf, we took one salient quote from six eminently creative auteurs, put them to the 300 participants in our session, and asked for their reaction and input. We believe there are exciting new insights to draw, not only from what we found, but (again) as a consequence of what happens when you accelerate the creative process. In this book you’ll find six chapters that start with our six auteurs’ creative viewpoints, and then our reactions (elicited in 30 minutes of games played with the 300 participants in the Eurobest auditorium, then edited in a following 30 minute workshop). You’ll also find pages for you to write on and add your own thoughts. Because, while we’re collaborating, you’re up for the ride too, right? 7


How to make a book in an hour

Call Ben&Andrew. (see page 167)


Contents 1

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” – Ken Robinson

10

2

“We must not be afraid of constant uncertainty” – Ed Catmull

34

3

“No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear” – Twyla Tharp

76

4

“Creativity is just connecting things…the broader one’s understanding of the human experience the better design we will have” – Steve Jobs

100

5

“Poor people are the world’s greatest entrepreneurs” – Muhammad Yunus

140

6

“Groupthink breeds blandness” – John Hegarty

162

9


Chapter One

Chapter One | Ken Robinson

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” – Ken Robinson


We felt that we should start our book with one of the most renowned voices on creativity, Sir Ken Robinson. What he has to say about creative education, in books, like “Out of Our Minds” and “The Element”, and also in his TED talks which have garnered hundreds of millions of views, is genuinely insightful and awe-inspiringly clear-minded. Robinson’s definition of creativity – “the process of having original ideas that have value” – is as good a working definition as we have found on the subject. It not only talks about creativity as a process, a habit linked to craft and endeavour, it also introduces the concept of “value”. This means that to be creative, your work must touch other people. There must be a value exchange: emotional, social, monetary or whatever. Robinson’s quote that we chose to examine at Eurobest and that titles this chapter seemed typically lucid. Still, there was one word in his dictum that troubled us: “original”. What does it mean? The idea that we are great because we build upon others’ work (so our work is, if not a copy, then at least indebted to others) can be traced back through many centuries of human progress. Long before Isaac Newton cited it to Robert Hooke, the phrase “nanos gigantum humeris insidentes” (standing on the shoulders of giants) was well known to scholars. And in Zulu culture, the concept of Ubuntu (“A person is a person through other people”) seems to speak not only of common humanity, but a shared bond of learning that is quite different from the idea of something genuinely original.

But wait a moment. We all know an original idea when we see one, don’t we? To paraphrase Tony Blair’s first Culture Secretary Chris Smith (who was talking about art) maybe originality is difficult to define, but easy to perceive? Having explored what “original” means, we were left pondering Ken’s assertion that a readiness to be wrong is a crucial precursor to being “original”. So we asked our participants when they’d been most wrong, and what this had led to, hoping to discover that their wrongs made an original right. But that’s not what we found. From our 300 answers, we found that being wrong didn’t seem to lead to originality. Rather it led to a clearer definition of what was of use (or not) to the learner. Much like a tailor tightening up a suit in the areas it doesn’t fit well, rather than creating an entirely new one. According to our participants, realising you’re wrong creates a revelation and an increase in self-knowledge. You learn something about yourself. And thus, the ideas you generate, or the direction you take from that point on, become more relevant and useful to you. If originality has to take into account our connection to the creativity of others, then what if knowledge of self is a way to link your ideas to the world around you? What if the revelation that comes with being wrong is the catalyst to our ideas resonating better with others; in Ken’s word, to ideas having more “value”. And so ideas – original or not – forged in the heat of “wrongness” become ultimately more useful and impactful. 11


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

I really thought the ostrich egg on my grandma’s cupboard wasn’t real. What it led me to was ...

I asked my grandmother about her time in Africa.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

I thought all creatives were creative. What it led me to was ...

Understanding that there is so much rubbish in creativity and advertising.

13


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Being right. Arguing about being correct at all times. What it led me to was ...

Listening more. Reading more. Making up more things and having a laugh with the truth.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Obeying rules and thinking this would help me in life. What it led me to was ...

Right here, right now – not obeying the rules.

15


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

I thought – as a child – that most adults knew what they were doing. What a disappointment to grow up. What it led me to was ...

Now knowing children better.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

That everything should be perfect al the time. Perfection is boring actually. So wrong. What it led me to was ...

To stop looking at the goal and to enjoy the journey more. And also not to judge so much – both myself and others.

17


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

That becoming rich is the most important thing. What it led me to was ...

Being too ambitious.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Luck. It doesn’t exist. I’ve discovered this by having so many seredipitous moments that luck is an illusion to me now. What it led me to was ...

I met Malala and slept one night on the ice of Antarctica because I stopped believing in luck.

19


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

I’m not able to do, and understand, maths. What it led me to was ...

I’m sure it sounds boring, but it opened tremendous horizons – it allowed me to code games with my son. It all came from the shame of telling my son to ‘go see mummy for your maths exercises’.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

That love is built on persistance, working hard and loyalty. What it led me to was ...

14 years in an unhappy relationship.

21


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Thinking high school friendships last forever. What it led me to was ...

To being closer to my family. As you grow older, family gets more important.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Thinking everyone loves cauliflower. They don’t. And even those that do can easily have enough of it. What it led me to was ...

When friends come round and I’m making different things to eat, I make sure there’s some variety.

23


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

The fact that some people are always wrong. What it led me to was ...

An insight about the human mind and my mind.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Thinking Smarties are all the same. What it led me to was ...

Eating M&Ms.

25


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Buying an old bike. What it led me to was ...

A scarred face.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Myself. What it led me to was ...

An ongoing search that will probably only end when I die.

27


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Buying a family car. What it led me to was ...

Buying an Italian car.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

The colour grey. I’ve been discussing this colour my entire life. With family, friends, myself. I just can’t figure out if it’s black, grey or brown. What it led me to was ...

The discovery that I was colourblind!

29


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Playing hockey. What it led me to was ...

My best friend.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

Thinking Michele from Destiny’s Child was now the wife of Obama. What it led me to was ...

Never publicly saying anything about famous people ever again.

31


The thing I’ve been most wrong about in my life is ...

That happiness is out there, for free. What it led me to was ...

Working on it, and trying to make it for myself.

Chapter One | Ken Robinson


Your response to Ken Robinson

33


Chapter Two

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull

“We must not be afraid of constant uncertainty …the unpredictable is the ground on which creativity occurs” – Ed Catmull


Pixar and Disney animation studio’s president, Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc., has pride of place on Ben&Andrew’s bookshelf. As a young, very small company we found the book great for getting the inside scoop on the meeting point between business and creativity. How do you build a business where creative excellence is key to growth? And how do you defend this precious commodity from being misshapen, lost or broken? Catmull stresses two concepts in his approach to keeping the forces of creativity alive: unpredictability and uncertainty. It’s worth pausing to draw out the nuances between these. Even though they sound like the same thing they’re usefully different. Uncertainty implies instability and the hesitancy that comes with being faced with multiple choices. Being comfortable with uncertainty keeps us aware that, irrespective of our plans, things change, most often because of forces beyond our control. So we have to a) become attuned to noticing and responding to them and b) resist becoming too attached to “known” ideas, methods or approaches. Unpredictability, on the other hand, implies not being foreseen or anticipated, in a life that is so dynamic that the future cannot be reliably mapped out. Thus, to live with unpredictability you must be firmly rooted to the present. So to explore Catmull’s thesis in this chapter, we created uncertainty and unpredictability. Uncertainty was created by asking participants to write a word – any word – at the top of their notepad. They then passed the notepad to their neighbour who had to bring the new word they had just received to life in a drawing.

To see if participants’ could accept unpredictability, we asked them to draw a snowman with a hat, carrot nose and coal buttons. BUT, the instruction to the participants was also that their snowman also had to be like no other snowman they had ever seen. This exercise was designed to take participants beyond a predictable concept into a place with no rules or boundaries. Furthermore, we didn’t explain what the chapter was exploring until after the task was finished, so the task itself was to some degree uncertain and unpredictable. What we discovered was that our participants found it very hard to find a way beyond the predictable – the magnetic attraction of the known was just too hard to resist. Some surprised, but more often their snowmen just flipped one obvious element (like substituting squares where circles were usual), meaning that the results were, perversely, very predictable indeed. It left us asking ourselves whether, in a world of perfect, clickable, accessible digital copying, fighting the tyranny of tropes, memes and clichés is even more difficult (and so even more highly prized)? We found the task to explore uncertainty more successful. Being given somebody else’s (random) thoughts and the freedom of not having to conform to any predetermined concept seemed to lead to more unusual, interesting results that extended or evolved the original start point. So how can we, within the creative industries, foster opportunities to add uncertainty? And how can we become better able to challenge the obviousness (and boringness, to be frank) of images, ideas and “insights” which are narrow and increasingly ubiquitous? 35


Magnificent

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Moist

37


Bouncer

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Fairytale

39


Bananas

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Milkshake

41


Cow

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Bird

43


Posh

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Foresight

45


Boom

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Careful

47


Dog

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Ephemeral

49


Bubblegum

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Little

51


Lion

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Rain

53


Selfish

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Butt

55


Alias

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Clever

57


Dog

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


Next: Your brief is to fill the page with a drawing of a snowman with a carrot for a nose, a scarf, top hat and buttons. But it’s like no snowman the world has ever seen before.

59


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


61


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


63


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


65


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


67


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


69


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


71


Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


73


Your response to Ed Catmull

Chapter Two | Ed Catmull


75


Chapter Three

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp

“No one starts a creative endeavour without a certain amount of fear” – Twyla Tharp


Like any dancer who’s always only one mistimed jump away from a careerbreaking injury, the choreographer, Twyla Tharp, is used to living daily with the risk associated with exacting physical pursuits. For Tharp, as for all dancers, fear is very real. You cannot dance without it. But Eurobest had few (if any) dancers in attendance, so we wanted to explore what a group of non-performing creatives were most afraid of.

Where participants told us that fear was a helpful force for creativity, their answers showed that it could help them focus or become more independent and thus challenge their need to secondguess others.

We wanted to learn whether fear held them back from exploring the edges of capability or if it galvanised them and spurred them on to reach further than they would otherwise; to feel more alive exploring the very limits of being.

So maybe it takes a special kind of person to “face their fear and do it anyway”. Or maybe, in a digital age, where the “undo” and “trash” function are just a click away, we need to instil the habit of sharing, commitment and risk that is commonplace to every dancer. And in the process maybe change how we use technology to be creative or possibly even rediscover nontechnological means of creating again.

Tharp’s contention is that fear does the latter. For her, fear drives her, and as such, must be embraced. But that’s not what our 300 Eurobest participants tended to tell us.

Fear is undoubtedly useful. When we started our creative endeavour of writing a book in an hour at Eurobest, the very real chance of failure was at the very front of our minds.

When we asked our participants to tell us their greatest fear when trying to be creative, then asked if this fear helped or hindered them, their answers predominated fear as an inhibitor, with two salient reasons why.

But it might be partly because Ben&Andrew’s Andrew Missingham comes from a performance background, or even perhaps because his college education predates the days of computers that we knew hitting the “delete” key before our plans were realised was never an option for us. Most likely, the main reason was because what we’ve found is that facing fear is a habit. It’s one you practice and one you get better at the more you do.

Firstly, participants were concerned by how their ideas were perceived by others, trapping them in a paralysing secondguessing of other’s reactions. Secondly, participants indicated that fear of how they themselves were perceived (over and above how their ideas were received) inhibited them from being creative. Their fears tended to manifest themselves in ideas that were self-censoring and likely to be discarded before they had even seen the light of day.

So how can the creative industries foster the habit of taking risks, letting more ideas see the light of day, and dancing joyously, uninhibited by the views of others or the risk of falling?

77


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

That somebody found it before me. The idea is nothing new. This hinders me because ...

There is already so much done. But I go on anyway. First I am paralysed, but then slowly, surely I start to grow.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Not being creative at all. When I was a child I thought of a movie I wanted to make – with crazy people who had strange talents and a woman whose eyes turned white while a storm arrived. This hinders me because ...

It was X-Men. I had seen it and forgotten it. Traumatised forever. 79


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Thinking too far and getting too abstract for everyone else. This hinders me because ...

I have to move back.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Great heights. This helps me because ...

I learn how to climb the rock face.

81


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Exploring myself; showing people who I really am. This hinders me because ...

I find it difficult to write about things that are close to me.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

That my boss would flush my ideas down the toilet. This helps me because ...

I’m always trying to make something better than I’ve ever done before.

83


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

That other people will disapprove of my work. This helps me because ...

It gives me the chance to prove them wrong!

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

A pigeon flying into the room. This helps me because ...

It keeps me focussed and fresh.

85


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

To be rejected. Your idea is mostly pretty personal and when it gets rejected, you are standing there like a fool, feeling like you’ve just been kicked. This helps me because ...

I’ve learned to be pretty independent, so now I don’t give a shit!

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

The blank page; writing or drawing the first thing. This hinders me because ...

It stays blank, and just staring at it doesn’t help a thing.

87


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Running out of time, space and patience. This helps me because ...

I always go with my gut feeling.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Failure. Being boring. Not being able to deliver anything new. That people will discover that I am not a born creative, or artist – that I am just learning. This helps me because ...

I push myself to the extreme. My work is therefore my hobby, my personal development.

89


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Displaying my deepest emotions and not moving or touching anyone with it. This helps me because ...

I have tons of ideas in my head but I don’t dare to let any of them come out.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

To make something ridiculous. I want people to like me! This hinders me because ...

Sometimes I’m not doing/ trying because it might go wrong. I’ve so many plans ... just in my head!

91


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

My brain exploding. This hinders me because ...

I won’t have a brain anymore.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Learning that I’m not creative at all. I’m afraid I’m a boring copy of someone original; the worst version of myself, an evil twin. This helps me because ...

It makes me try more. It doesn’t make me stop. It makes me fight the twin sister.

93


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Trying to convince people about my ideas. This hinders me because ...

It stops me from really believing in my own ideas. That’s quite a problem!

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

That my mother is going to see it. Really. This helps me because ...

I just make sure she doesn’t see it so I can do what I want.

95


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

Blank paper. This hinders me because ...

It makes me doubt myself in a way that makes me feel I can’t do it. I don’t dare write down every stupid idea I have.

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


My greatest fear when trying to be creative is ...

The page being empty after thinking about the brief for hours. To blame myself in front of my Creative Director and co-workers. Fearing that I’m not creative. This helps me because ...

The fear keeps me working! Love it.

97


Your response to Twyla Tharp

Chapter Three | Twyla Tharp


99


Chapter Four

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs

“Creativity is just connecting things…the broader one’s understanding of the human experience the better design we will have” – Steve Jobs


For a while at Ben&Andrew, we banned any reference to Cupertino, Steve Jobs or Apple. We felt that this company’s association with creativity was ubiquitous to the point of meaninglessness. Each presentation we saw seemed stuck in an infinite loop of shiny, design-obsessed, unibodied perfection, referenced as a lazy heuristic for what creativity is all about. Then we chilled out. Because Steve’s got a point. Dot joining is a good thing. In fact, the more dots you have to join, the more likely new, better connections will be created. So we set our participants a task that explored the extremes of how they saw the world and what they felt passionately about. We asked them to tell us, without conferring with others, what they love, then what they hate, about the creative industries. We then played a game we created called Crazy Love. This game clashes two extremes – a thesis, and its antithesis – to try and create a compelling new idea – its synthesis. What we love about this game is its ability to enable people to find new and interesting connections between divergent ideas or experiences. We invited one participant to share what they had written as the thing they love (the respondent told us: “a constant source of new stuff – newness”) and paired it with something that another participant hated (“the abuse of time, of goodwill”). All participants then had to create a solution to the thing they hated by leveraging the thing they love. We’ve played this game many times, with interesting results. At its best, Crazy Love uncovers unusual, even counterintuitive

solutions to seemingly intractable challenges. That didn’t happen this time (leading us to wonder how we might improve our game, or conceding that the game needs to be played more, and over a longer period of time to be effective), but we still learned some useful lessons. We found that many of the things that people love are so closely related to what they hate that they might as well be the same thing. So, for instance, if they loved the freedom of the creative industries they hated the constraint. At the same time, the participants found it difficult to come up with compelling solutions to the problem in our game. Interesting answers were thin on the ground. There could be many reasons for this, but the reason that we think is most likely is a challenge to the whole creative industries: the group just wasn’t diverse enough. Eurobest is aimed at young creatives so our participants were from a narrow age demographic. And as the conference requires a considerable investment of resources, it’s not far fetched to assume that the level of affluence across our sample was narrower than in European society as a whole. And coming from across Europe, they were overwhelmingly white. So, in short, they’re a pretty representative sample of the European creative industries. We believe that this meant that their frame of reference was just too narrow – they didn’t have enough dots to join. ‘Jobsian’ insight only exists if the frame of reference is wide enough and diverse enough to truly draw in a range of ideas and experiences. Want an easy way to increase the quality of creativity coming out of Europe’s creative industries? Make them way more diverse. 101


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

The possibility of imagination. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Never being able to stop thinking.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

I get paid to create, dream and wonder. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Stupid decisions that lead to shit.

103


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

There are no boundaries. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Having to be creative in five seconds.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Not having to work (all the time). The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Not being able to do everything.

105


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

All the different things you get to do. The many sides and possibilities it has. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Getting grey early because of the stress of deadlines!

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

That every day there are not only new problems, but new ways to solve them. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Not knowing what we really do.

107


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

I love the free food, the stress of deadlines and that I get to express myself. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

When there’s not enough pressure.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

That I am surrounded by uncertainty. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

People’s egos. (I’m not one of them)

109


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

The freedom. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Everybody thinks you always have ideas.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

How a pen is not a pen if you’re original. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

The fucking egos!

111


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos. Egos.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

That I can teach people about it and learn back from them instantly. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

The hierarchy.

113


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Getting out of the box; having the freedom to put yourself in ideas. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

You can’t control when you want to use your creativity. There’s no on or off switch.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

It’s not a science. I hate science. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Some people don’t understand it. Including my sister. Who is a lawyer.

115


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Expressing myself and finding my own truth. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Egos!

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything.

117


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

I can be myself. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Too many dudes. Too much lala-land.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

I’m always learning; that it’s normal to be crazy. It helps. I feel normal. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

That everyone thinks he or she is creative.

119


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Discovering new things. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Work is never finished. It can always be better.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Accepting and exploring my weird side. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

There are people with better ideas. It makes me jealous.

121


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

There are no boundaries or limitations to being creative. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

The pressure of finding something amazing.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

You can’t turn off your brain. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

You can’t turn off your brain.

123


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

You are constantly making something new out of nothing. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

You heavily depend on others.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Freedom of possibilities. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Constant pressure to find a new idea.

125


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

The sense of freedom and flow it gives you. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Being unfocussed and detached from sad reality.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

127


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Being able to go back to your childhood. You can trigger your inner child and be as foolish as you want. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

Not being able to come up with an idea. I look so uninspired.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Having a life that I don’t need a holiday away from. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

The insecurity.

129


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Open minds. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

There is no truth, no right or wrong.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The thing I love about working in the creative industries is ...

Newness. The thing I hate about working in the creative industries is ...

People and colleagues who don’t strive for excellence and are happy with mediocrity.

131


Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The Crazy Love answers

133


The way to solve ABUSE using NEWNESS in our industry is ...

Create more sources of inspiration through travel so that we can learn how other industries and sectors manage with difficult working conditions. Make this compulsory for all agencies.

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The way to solve ABUSE using NEWNESS in our industry is ...

Create a new structure with horizontal teams (no hierarchy) that are all responsible for the project process and output of the work – like everybody is their own boss.

135


The way to solve ABUSE using NEWNESS in our industry is ...

If you get treated badly, you can lock your phone for 24 hours and go and learn or be inspired by something new: to get more newness!

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


The way to solve ABUSE using NEWNESS in our industry is ...

The creative process becomes automated so people can be treated badly.

137


Your response to Steve Jobs

Chapter Four | Steve Jobs


139


Chapter “Poor people Five are the world’s greatest entrepreneurs” – Muhammad Yunus

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winning social entrepreneur, banker and economist, knows a thing or two about creativity. His Grameen Bank pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance, first in his home nation of Bangladesh, and latterly throughout the developing world. Yunus’contention is that you are much more likely to find the creative drive of entrepreneurship where you find the sharp corners of need. And so, the converse can be true. When Andrew helped found Marc Lewis’s new incarnation of London’s School of Communication Arts, heading up their Entrepreneurship route, he was party to courses that taught young people how to find a problem worth solving. They didn’t know, you see. These almost exclusively western, privileged students had to be taught how to spot an entrepreneurial opportunity hidden in their world of plenty. Not so in Sudan, India, Ghana, Kenya or Rwanda, where problems are as manifest as entrepreneurial opportunities and the creative muscles you develop living in such environments are exercised on a daily basis. That’s neither to glamorise poverty, nor to say that developing world innovators always prevail. When faced with so many problems, an entrepreneur may struggle to find where to play without the start-up ante to get in the game. It was Yunus’ work addressing this problem that made his ideas so ground breaking. Moreover, improvised “Jugaad” innovation can often leave longterm development undone because justgood-enough often trumps best-in-class. So how could we test this idea with a group of privileged Eurobest participants? The key was to ask ourselves what poverty actually is. Firstly, poverty is relative and

contextual. Put a millionaire in a yachtful of billionaires, and they’ll be crying into their Moët. Secondly, poverty is about power. Money (unfortunately) is often an indicator of choices and self-determination. Take away money, and you disempower. But we realised that there was a time when all of our participants (and you and me) were both relatively poor and powerless compared to how they are today: when they were children. We felt that if we could look to the innovations our participants created when they were children, we could test whether poverty and creativity were linked. We believe that the responses to this chapter bear Yunus’ theory out. First up, the answers we received to this exercise were more numerous, interesting, varied and creative than those for any other chapter. Maybe as a child you only invent with what you have and you only solve what is worth solving. Have too much, and you risk being blinded by choice, and also not having an itch that needs scratching badly enough. Participants’ childhood innovations had a miniscule market which was focus group, product development department and point of sale all rolled together. Their great ideas struck that beautiful balance of being universal because they were so specific. (Which coincidentally supports a belief at the heart of Design Thinking – to always design for a very specific single person.) So, the question that remains from this chapter is: do we, in the Western creative industries and beyond, have too many choices at our disposal that end up inhibiting new and interesting ideas? And if this is the case, as our participants’ responses suggest, how do we create more restriction, to lead to more, better innovation? 141


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

Stuffing my itchy pants full of little fluffy toys to make it feel softer and not itchy anymore.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A device that finds all the things I lost or forgot (I forget and lose everything). I made it but, of course, it didn’t work.

143


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A pyramid of Duplo under which I could hide stuff belonging to my brother and sister.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

I always put my shoes on the wrong foot, so I made a picture in the corner of the living room of my shoes (left shoe, left; right shoe, right) so that every morning I could check whether I had put my shoes on in the correct way.

145


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

To go to everyone that was sad and lonely and give them a big hug.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A toy club, where kids could swap their toys for a couple of days. It stopped us all from being bored. Fucking genius.

147


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

I wanted to hide my money, so I put it in a bag and with a white rope, I hung it behind my bed. It was a high bed.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

The line of straws I put together so that I could turn the television on from my couch.

149


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

‘Tiger Milk’ – the sweet milk left in your bowl when your cereal is finished.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

Creating a communication system and a new language to keep in touch with my best friend who lived next door.

151


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A warm toilet seat.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

Problem: I didn’t have a spaceship. Solution: I made a spaceship in a bush outside – with screens, controls, buttons and doors. Everything was made of cardboard. Even the warp drive.

153


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A mirror that could take you to a parallel universe, one where everything is the same, only left is right and right is left.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A MuteRay™ that would make everyone I pointed it at stop talking.

155


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

The Ninja-SorcererKnight-King-Pirate that ruled my Lego kingdom so I didn’t have to choose what sort of characters could live in it.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

Making better sand castles with sand I’d pee’d on first. Pee castles = strong buildings.

157


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

Stealing a doctor’s notepad and selling slips so we could skip school.

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


My greatest innovation when I was a child was ...

A ring that could float in the pond to keep the fish food from drifting into the filter.

159


Your response to Muhammad Yunus

Chapter Five | Muhammad Yunus


161


Chapter Six

Chapter Six | John Hegarty

“Groupthink breeds blandness” – John Hegarty


Before you even reach for a dictionary to find the definition, it’s easy to conclude that the Orwell-inspired and butt-ugly compound word “groupthink” can only ever be pejorative. So Hegarty’s thought that (something bad) leads to (something people don’t want to be) is perhaps too selfevident to be much use. That said we were genuinely interested to find out if, by using a room of 300 people to co-author this book, we could encourage individual voices and avoid the clustering and narrowing of opinions that constitutes groupthink. Could we design a process that used the power of individual voices where the resulting debate and clash of ideas would lead to stronger, not weaker, insights? It’s up to you to decide whether this book has achieved any of these goals. We’ve certainly enjoyed the process of working with Eurobest to make the project a reality. So all that remains is for us to leave you with a take-out a day to last you a week: 1. It’s all about the question. Like the juggler’s truism “If the throw is right, the catch will come”, the more effort you spend making sure you lob exactly the right question in the right direction, the more likely you are to land an answer which will be useful. 2. Looking for insights and creativity doesn’t need people to be “clever” or “impressive”, just themselves. Create a safe space and the conditions by which people can be honest and comfortable, and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn and achieve. 3. We found the answers to chapter five the most interesting. Our hunch is that this was the case because this question tapped into real experiences

that were personal and (mostly) fondly regarded. Participants’ mix of honesty, truth and love were a powerful combination. Perhaps also the play implied in childhood stories gave people the permission to relax and be honest. So because people weren’t afraid of the ridiculousness of their answers, the diversity of responses was broader too. 4. By contrast, the least satisfying responses were to the question about the creative industries themselves. For young and aspiring creatives, perhaps our question wasn’t good enough, or the stakes were too high. Or maybe our field of vision was just too narrow. Anyway, we’re going to think much more carefully about how we ask this kind of question in the future. 5. A great plan isn’t a tight plan. We worked really hard to create a framework that we thought would reliably deliver answers that interested us, but we also were prepared to be led by the participants themselves. 6. The tightest timeframe can be immensely liberating. We knew we had an hour (half gathering and half editing), so we cut our coat accordingly. We don’t think we would have got substantially better results if we’d had all day or even all week. 7. Not all creatives carry pens or pencils with them. We think this might be a bad thing. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our little book. Don’t forget, if you’ve got a creative challenge that needs to be addressed with new thinking and in a hurry, Ben&Andrew (plus 300 good friends) are more than happy to help out. 163


The what, why and how of Ben&Andrew


What is Ben&Andrew?

How do we work? 


Ben&Andrew is a hybrid of a creative agency and a management consultancy. Creative agencies generate and produce brilliant ideas that change the way that people think, feel and do things. But too often their ideas are ‘campaign’ oriented: they don’t influence the essence of their client’s business. Management consultancies get asked to define and shape an entire businesses direction or activity, but too often they do not have the creative skills to find new and innovative solutions or directions. We aim to bring the best of what creative agencies and management consultancies offer to solve business problems. We call what we do “Creative Consultancy”.

Our problem solving process is built on a number of elements.

Why did we create Ben&Andrew? In essence, we aim to create a world of cultural, charitable, profitable enterprise. All enterprises must be cultural because culture is what ignites people’s imagination so new possibilities are brought to life. All enterprises must be charitable because today customers expect companies to offer more back to society than they take out. All enterprise must be profitable because profit enables them to self-sustain and scale so good ideas are able to spread.

Firstly, our process centres on provocation. Provocation is the tool we use to take our (and our client’s) thinking to entirely new places. Provocation creates discussion, debate and dissonance. Provocation tests the edges of what one knows and where one is willing to go. Secondly, our process is output agnostic. We don’t pre-determine 
the output (because we don’t have a business model that requires us to make a specific thing like a website, TV campaign, or app) which means that we can truly find the right answer to the problem at hand. Thirdly, we work a problem’s potential solution fast, we work it together and we work it over and over again. We don’t believe in landing an answer through months of ‘thinking’ and lots of polishing. We like to get thinking out on the table and work closely with our clients to find the answers and develop them together. This means the answers we develop have been prototyped any number of times and are very much a product of our clients’ work as well as ours.

We believe that more cultural, charitable, profitable enterprises will lead to a world that’s more authentic, legitimate and sustainable.

And that’s why we’ve written this book using over 300 collaborators and only taken an hour to write it. But of course, it’s less a finished thing, and more the start of a conversation. If you want to share your thoughts or feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

And that’s really exciting. Because ultimately there is no alternative.

All the best, Ben, Andrew, Jenny and Tamika. 165


Credits

Written and edited by Ben Gallagher & Andrew Missingham, Sien Audenaert, Ramin Bahari, Angie Boele, Louis Bonichon, Michaël Borges, Hanne Buyse, Marlon Branding, Linse Chantrain, Tamara Daltroff, Lukas Das, Elise Demuynck, Niels De Brandt, Hanna De Coninck, Lore De Decker, Pieter D’Hondt, Laura De Pauw, Cato Decoster, Chelsea De Voecht, Elise Demuynck, Paulien Dirckx, Reine Driesen, Freek Evers, Yente Janssen, Lander Janssens, Hans Joris, Caroline Lismont, Honza Marcinek, Audrey Mazet, Luna Meers, Femke Merens, Heleen Miermans, Nathan Modrikamen, Pauline Van Ostaeyen, Matt Parkes, Helena Pelsmaekers, Bisera Savoska, Roxane Scheider, Jass Seljamaa, Anais Smets, Alex Thumwood, Marianna Tzaerli, Mark Van Der Heijden, Sophie Van Der Veken, Maarten Van Herck, Jeremy Van Humbeeck, Celine Van Aérde, Diete Vancluysen, Erin Vanmierlo, Bisera Savoska, Annelies Vandenput, Ben Vets, Yasmin Visser, Yelle Wallyn, Louise Windels (and a ton of others who didn’t get back to us in time). Design & Art Direction by Colm Roche Illustration by David Burton
 Project Management by Tamika Abaka-Wood and Jenny Berglund Featuring creative insights by Steve Jobs, Ken Robinson, Ed Catmull, John Hegarty, Twyla Tharp and Muhammad Yunus.


How to contact Ben&Andrew

If you have any thoughts, comments or ideas about the book we have written or you’d like to chat to us about what we do beyond writing books with very tight deadlines then we would love to hear from you. You can read about us at your leisure at www.benandandrew.com You can get in touch direct via email to : projects@benandandrew.com You can follow our daily happenings via : Twitter: @benandand Instagram: @benandandco Or to get a weekly roundup of all things Ben&Andrew subscribe to our newsletter at : https://www.getrevue.co/profile/benandand Finally, if you like to send letters or enjoy chatting over a cup of tea then you can find us at : 82 Baker Street London W1U 6AE England

If you’d like us to write a book with or for you in any amount of time between five days and one hour then get in touch. We’d love to help. We find that five days is usually more affordable and less exhausting but we’ll leave that choice up to you. Just email us at projects@ benandandrew.com

167


Writing a book in an hour with over 300 collaborators is an idea that is as ambitious as it is (frankly) insane, especially if you want it to be any good. But from the moment they came to me with the idea, I knew that if anyone could pull it off, the team at Ben&Andrew could. Their book sums up the spirit of Eurobest – hands-on, live creativity at its finest and most audacious. So if you’re in the creative industries or in a business where innovation is critical, don’t just buy and leave their insightful little book to gather dust on the shelf – carry it round in your back pocket for a little punch of inspiration whenever you need one. Louise Benson, Festival Director, Lions Health & Eurobest, Lions Festivals

ISBN 9780993288319 ISBN 9780993288319

www.benandandrew.com

9 780993 288319 9 780993 288319


Ben&Andrew's Guide to Creativity