A few months ago, a software company, one not necessarily heralded for its innovation (or, at least, not like Apple), released a global study on creativity. Or rather, on how individual humans perceive themselves and their countries as creative.
[Our curiosity was somewhat appeased by the fact that Adobe, the study’s sponsor, is launching a new suite of cloud touch applications.]
What piqued our interest even more were the results: Only a quarter of us are living up to our creative potential, with even fewer countries noted as creative. [Japan, by the way, was ranked number one,
and Toyko lauded as the most creative city.]
Blame, of course, was duly assigned. To the workplace, because of environments that emphasize productivity and its consequence, time pressures. To the educational system and its teachers, called out as not-so-great judges of talent.
Yet, dear readers, fingers could easily be pointed at the very folks who practice creativity. Why? Those in the business of creative – architects and graphic designers, communicators and ad mavens, among others – oh-so-often emphasize the creative of the business. [Emphasis ours.] Pitches stress the proposed campaign’s linkage to the increasing of awareness, not to the changing of behaviors. Copy points linger on, yes, benefits, but not those so inclined to move the needle. Gorgeous and evocative Web sites extol the greatness of brands and of companies, but don’t get us to the information we need when we need it. And how many news releases contain the facts and the impact on the product/division/business, rather than spokesperson quotes that are rarely if ever used by the media?
We have a Webster-ian proposition/solution. Obviously, the word “creativity” has its own definitional baggage. How about “strag-ivity,” a one-word combination of strategy and creativity that accomplishes what all clients and companies, consultancies and creatives desire?
Or what David Ogilvy said almost 40 years ago: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”