How to Win with Creative Science

Written by Martin Lucas

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What on earth is creativity?  

We hear about it all the time; companies tell us they want creativity or they use similar terms which have similar intent like innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. It is something we have never fully understood or had defined. Some of us think of creativity as art or ideas or a really happy person running around with felt pens looking a bit mental. This week I will share some insights about how to win using creative sciences, which is a very specific type of creativity. To kick this off we need some definitions.

Emotional Intelligence

As a definition, is it important to understand that how you are treated and how you react to situations is all your Emotional Intelligence but it is not just about how you feel, your EQ (for short) is also recognising how others feel; you know when you can just tell something is bothering someone?

Their eyes

Their movement

Their words

Their tone

Their judgement

Their behaviours

This is your instinct at play. You can process incredible amounts of information extremely quickly, this is known as rapid cognition and our ability to judge situations with our senses and then to act or not is what allows us to live each day and our Unconscious is the engine deriving this. If we didn’t have this Unconscious processor we would not be able to move, we would be labelling everything in front of our eyes, thinking about it all, overloading; it would be too much information to Consciously process as that is thinking. Imagine if you had to literally think about all that your eyes see, you’d implode! But we don’t!

Phew! Thank you for the Unconscious mind (we covered more about this in The Science of Decision Making)! You can read much more about rapid cognition in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, it’s really enjoyable to understand the power you have under your control and Gladwell is a master of this type of cognitive thought. Once you accept what EQ is you can start to see that it is just as crucial as IQ; it is accountable for your ability to maintain relationships, to speak, to act, how you treat others, how you behave and what your focus is, what your belief system is, how you live your life. It is what makes you, YOU and in turn how you react to others, how you see them and how you care about them.

Variable Emotions

Now that I have you thinking about yourself and your feelings it is important to understand the irrational part of how we think as our emotions have lots of variables, it is not simply about how you feel about say an object, a person or a job, it can change based on variables:

The time of day

Your current mood

How you have been treated

That moment of self doubt

How do you feel

Day of the week

Money in the bank or not

Success and failure

Self Judgement

Internal peace

Self awareness

Happiness and sadness

Some of us are morning people or not (I am totally not a fan of mornings), some of us love ourselves, some of us hate ourselves, some of us feel at peace - apart from Monday mornings - some of us are happy all the time, some of us dislike people who are happy all the time. Some, some, some.Re-read the list above; the variables are massive and it’s all about your environment, your perception, your experiences and above all else what other factors we are dealing with. The other factors bring lots of different behaviours and we can react differently to exactly the same situation depending on what else is happening in our lives.

We are complex creatures! That is our EQ at play, how you want to be treated, how you learn, the pace you think at, your actions, your behaviours, your habits. It’s personal because it is personal to you. You are unique; we all are.

We will use EQ as our anchor to think more creatively and win! Here are the tips:

Patience & Reflection

Where creativity comes into this is our first tip. Humans are selfish by nature; it’s a fact, it’s also not a bad thing, we are just programmed to look after ourselves. If you consider that in reference to EQ then creativity is the ability to break free from thinking about yourself and instead applying your thinking to reflect the other person. The easiest way to start doing this is to think before you speak, this will cause your brain to have an internal discussion about the other person and before you think.

It takes a little practice as we are always running at a million miles in our head, the good news is the pause to think is extremely short and the thing to recognise is that all you are being asked to do is to understand your instinct and to use the read on the other person and be conscious of their needs. The majority of the time they are not in a positive or negative emotive state so can engage exactly as you normally do and for the times they are emotional you have practised enough for it and communication becomes about them. Patience is a lost art, train yourself to slow down, marginally and you will increase how you win from relationships and getting what you want back.

Quality vs Quantity

Last week when discussing How to Attract Customers I referenced the quality not quantity as a headline challenge for you to consider. This week, let’s dive into what this means in more detail, quality is about not rushing what you do, the team and I use the same phrase as tip 1 for balancing this with what we produce - Patience and Reflection.

The reason is that we know quality matters more than quantity, each week our newsletter has a minimum of 3 articles and a maximum of 5, purely because we want it be of use and we don’t expect everyone to read everything, we know that like us, everyone feels short of time and they will pick what they want. If we had say 12 articles per week then it’s overload and it’s much more likely that people will select nothing and bounce, it will cost us engagement. We tested this over two years and are happy to say that there is a scientific reason as the brain can only process key pieces of information in chunks, overload it and you lose.

You can also add to this that content marketing is dying as a trend, it’s been abused and we see less and less quality content and more and more basic content, known as click bait, easy to digest but with little actual quality to it. When creating content make sure you map out the point of it, what your want the reader to gain and when you create it (write, design, record) then make sure you have at least a day (preferably multiple days) as reflection is literally best when you sleep on it. When we rush, what we think we meant to say is not always the end result but in the heat of the moment we can’t always see that for ourselves. Give it some time and focus on the proposed readers gains and you will win more.

Rep Your Story

So far we have looked at how to improve how you interact as an individual in person, then we did the same but the target was engaging with an unknown reader in your target market, in the final steps let us take that up one more level and look at the mass market you want to speak to.

When we think about our company, no matter what our role or challenge is, we need to think about the story we tell more and more, it’s not just going to trend, it’s going to grow as an industry to replace the vanilla ‘Content Marketing’ term.

The best pioneer in the world for this is Michael Margolis, the thought leader and founder of Get Storied, I recently had a 1:1 with Michael and it was very enlightening. . They have worked with some of the largest brands in the world to develop a winning method for how to tell your story that engages both your marketplace AND your employees. We began defining creativity through a lens of Emotional Intelligence aka EQ. In order to understand what your story is you need to understand your unique mix of your company's IQ and EQ, just like an individual’s brain every company is unique, our mass of behaviours and habits is what makes us better, worse or simply different to our competition. If you can master and understand your unique mix then what you tell your marketplace creates engagement and that engagement converts to customers as it is consistent as your words, employees and experiences are consistent.

Humans love consistency

Companies love growth

Individuals love engaging with like minded people

There we go, creativity is much more about process and alignment than running around with felt pens!