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McCreery at iuaes jasca 2014

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Presentation on "Conditions of Creativity" delivered at IUAES-JASCA meeting in Makuhari, Japan 2014

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McCreery at iuaes jasca 2014

  1. 1. May 18, 2014 Conditions of Creativity By John McCreery (jlm@wordworks.jp) at IUAES-JASCA 2014
  2. 2. Classic Model ✤ Genesis 1: 3 “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” ✤ One almighty individual, one big idea, effortless execution
  3. 3. Current Reality ✤ In today’s corporate world, creativity, a.k.a., innovation, is the work of teams ✤ Ideas are proposed and debated by multiple individuals ✤ Material conditions constrain execution ✤ Thus, for example, 70% of Japanese TV commercials last only fifteen seconds, with only eight seconds allowed for spoken words
  4. 4. Academic Debates (1) ✤ Arthur Danto (1964) - Art requires an “art world,” a knowledgeable audience that validates the work as art ✤ Howard Becker (1982) - Groups produce art (jazz ensembles for example. Even individual artists depend on others who supply their materials and purchase their work. ✤ Richard Cave (2000) - Art requires contracts that take into account the uncertainties of artistic production
  5. 5. Academic Debates (2) ✤ Pierre Bourdieu (1984) - Art resembles sport. ✤ Art is a field with defined boundaries, specific positions, and goals. ✤ Players compete for social, cultural and economic capital
  6. 6. 01 Read All About It
  7. 7. 01 In the Japanese advertising world
  8. 8. Maki Jun onTeams ✤ Te-amu (手編む) - Hands joined together like those gripping a baseball bat. Specialists working together to hit a home run. ✤ Koshiki (個識) - A collection of individuals with distinct personalities ✤ Kosei no shoutotsu (個性の衝突) - Where individuals clash
  9. 9. Professional Expertise ✤ We imagine a system in which each professional contributes a piece of the finished product ✤ But coming up with ideas is more complicated ✤ Copywriters come up with ideas ✤ But so do we, say art directors ✤ Creative directors just want good ideas; anyone can have one — even an account executive
  10. 10. Personalities ✤ Diverse personalities increase the likelihood of creativity. ✤ But they also increase the likelihood of conflict ✤ Thus, most creative directors say that you have to be careful of who you put together on teams ✤ But Sasaki Hiroshi, Japan’s most successful creative director, prefers serendipity
  11. 11. Managing Conflict ✤ Creative Directors play several roles ✤ Catalyst - sparking interaction ✤ Clown - breaking tension ✤ Coach - supporting from the sidelines ✤ Commander - insisting on high standards
  12. 12. Providing Direction ✤ Clear goal-setting can be important ✤ But it mustn’t be too specific ✤ Creative directors who insist on “Do it my way” rarely produce great work
  13. 13. What kind of team is best? ✤ Depends on the project ✤ For routine work, a familiar team is best; the members know what they need to do. The job gets done more efficiently ✤ For competitive pitches, a newly formed team may be better, increasing the probability of coming up with fresh ideas. ✤ But the risk of meltdown is also higher ✤ Freelancers tend to prefer familiar teams
  14. 14. A Producer’s Perspective ✤ According to Nakajima Shinya, a truly great and enormously respected producer ✤ When you ask invite talented experts to work together on a project ✤ Be humble ✤ Ask nicely ✤ Say thank you
  15. 15. Thank you