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FOSTERING A CULTURE

OF CREATIVITY


EXPOSED BRICKWORK

POOL TABLES

BEER FRIDGES

FLOWERY SHIRTS

GEOMETRIC CARPET TILES

WALLS EMBLAZONED WITH ARTY DECALS & ‘MISSION STATEMENTS’


AND MORE HIPSTER BEARDS THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A

PROVERBIAL STICK AT. While all of these combine to create a pleasing working environment (hipster beards not withstanding), the reduction of ‘creative culture’ down to these environmental factors is simplistic, misplaced and superficial. ‘Culture’ itself is defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular group: something that is inherently driven, shaped and moulded by people. At its very core, creative culture is human; created by the people and of the people. Yet businesses can only foster a creative culture – creative ideas, creative ways of thinking, creative behaviours – if they equip people within an infrastructure that empowers this.


GOING BEYOND WORDS & LABELS


Job

Ti t l e

Words hold meaning, and in a creative agency environment, it can be easy to assume that the application of linguistic labels results in automated creativity. It doesn’t. Managing, Financial, Creative Directors: these are job titles that define an individual’s role within a business, but do not necessarily reflect their wider contribution to culture. Paul Gascoigne, Momentum Wordwide’s Group Creative Director, speaks about the need to inspire through guidance, rather than stifle with direction. “Creativity is a process of people, not one person of process, and instilling a culture in which senior leaders empower people to think critically, is the cornerstone of a culture in which people are armed to be dangerous.” Similarly, while the creative department may be labelled as such, it is in no way limited to it. Ideas come from everywhere, not just in relation to client work, but also in terms of how we think as a collective of people. Bakers, photographers, illustrators, poets, stand-up comedians, musicians, painters: encourage and embrace people’s creative passions outside of work as part of a creative culture of collective individuals, and their passion for creativity will seep into every aspect of their work.


PHYSICAL SPACES ARE A CREATIVE TOOL

TO BE UTILISED


Physical space and environment is of unparalleled importance to an organisation’s creative culture, and it is indeed a great misnomer to believe that this space is also limited only to the confines of an office. Creativity does not come from staring at a computer screen, or sitting on a chair all day. Insight exists all around us, and fostering a creative culture extends far beyond the walls of a building. With this in mind, Momentum has started running a news scheme, Insight Jogging, in which we partner with our Health and Wellbeing Manager to take colleagues, clients and friends on running tours around our London and Manchester offices. The effect of physical activity on creative thinking is well documented. Initiatives such as this allow people to experience a different environment and viewpoint, change their scenery, and also foster bonds shared through physical exercise. But even within office walls, there are exciting new avenues to explore. While plants, music, collaborative breakout areas and whiteboards are not without their merits, there is also nothing ‘new’ about these things. Behavioural psychologists have proven you can change thinking with spaces and environment. Momentum is adopting this and has created a physical concept, the ‘What? Room’, which forces colleagues and clients to truly get under the skin of a brief, solve a business problem, address an idea creatively. The room is minimal, allowing us to focus on getting the job done, with a large briefing template printed on a whiteboard that can be populated over time. A gallery wall of images helps provide context and stimulus, while standing-room only, and a digital count-down clock ensure focus.


CREATIVITY IS A PASSION, AS WELL

AS A PRODUCT


Google ‘creativity quotes’ and you’ll invariably be met with Einstein: ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’. Our job at Momentum is to deliver intelligent creative, as well as creative intelligence. Yet for many businesses, the only creative that is shared tends to focus on the work. Collaboration and sharing is a fundamental aspect of fostering a culture of creativity, and should be encouraged within work, as well as outside of it. Establishing initiatives that provide a platform for knowledge exchange is fundamental to successfully fostering a culture of creativity. At Momentum, we run a series of monthly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions, in which colleagues from all across the business come to participate in a democratic discussion on the latest trends, topics and areas of thought leadership. High attendance is, of course, driven by everyone’s thirst for knowledge, and nothing to do with the free sandwiches… Similarly, our ‘Creative Cuddle’ get-togethers are a chance to share great work that is currently being trafficked through the agency, and see what others have been delivering. As part of these sessions, there is always a slot for individuals to share their own creative projects, too, from screen printing to t-shirt designing to motorbike restoration.


INVESTING IN THE CREATIVITY OF INDIVIDUALS


Internationally renowned fine artist Paul Caponigro gave a TED talk, in which he addressed the fundamental creativity – and creative differences – of individuals: “The human being is a creative species. We’re born creative. But we’re not alike in our creativity. We use it in different ways and in different degrees.” You foster a true culture of creativity by harvesting it in the hearts and minds of people. People who are from different backgrounds, offer different perspectives and contribute to an evolving culture, organically. Physical factors can assist and bring this out, but a true culture of creativity comes from embracing and amassing a collective of people who are empowered to embrace and explore their creativity both inside and outside of work: engineering diversity.


WANT TO KNOW MORE? e: anna.dalziel@momentumww.com m: 07802 874 053

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Fostering a culture of creativity  
Fostering a culture of creativity  
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