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Is Creativity Collaborative? - LinkedIn Discussion of the Week

November 9, 2012
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Does the best creative come from committees or from individuals? That's the gist of the question from Thorin McGee, a LinkedIn Integrated Marketing Mix group member who asked: "Is Creativity Collaborative?"

Marketers hear about crowdsourcing and breaking down silos, but McGee heard a whole new take on the creative process from Frank Cooper of PepsiCo during Cooper's keynote address Wednesday at ad:tech in New York.

McGee writes: "[Cooper] layed out a foundation for a new way of designing marketing called the HIT Factor, that essentially says that successful brands and campaigns today are capitalizing on Humanitiy, Imagination and Truth (HIT). He also focused on the collaborative nature of this type of creativity, how it involves not just getting input from everyone on your team but also everyone outside of your company who wants to participate."

McGee continues by asking IMM group members:

  • How different is that from last decade's hatred of "design by committee" and the worry that "too many cooks spoil the soup"? It seems like the antithesis of the Steve-Jobs, genius-style brand.
  • But is that a better way to develop your brands, campaigns and products?
  • What do you think? Is creativity collaborative? Or are the results better when it's not?

Group member Caitlin Moriarity answers: "I think the underlying problem with 'design by committee' is not that you have *input* from a number of different people, but that you need *approval* from multiple people. I find a lot of value in having group discussions and brainstorming sessions to get creative ideas moving. But when it comes time to refine ideas and make them workable, I think there needs to be just one person making the final decisions and going ahead with the idea. Because at that point, trying to please everyone is where things break down."

Marketers can use a process that's appropriate to the situation, says group member Susan Tormollen: "I think there is a time and place for both collaborative creative and for a more contained creative process."

What do you think?
 

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