John Cleese: How To Be Creative
Albert Einstein once said about research: ‘If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?’.
John Cleese mentions this during his speech at Nudgestock 2021 and it sat with me for a while. It made so much sense to me and I think it can be beneficial to the marketing industry.
Creativity can be used to make researching a product or idea. To get the most out of any business, creativity needs to be at the forefront. But how do you be creative?
Well, sometimes you are at your most creative when you least expect it.
Experiments With Architects
In the 1970s at the University of Berkley, Donald McKinnon created an experiment to determine creativity. He spoke to a bunch of ‘creative’ architects and then a bunch of ‘standard’ architects.
Donald McKinnon’s task for the architects was to write down everything they have done in a day. Every part of their day was noted.
From the results, there were 2 things that separated the two sets of architects.
Firstly, the main difference was that the creative architects knew how to be playful. They were more curious, constantly trying things out and playing with ideas.
Secondly, they took longer to make up their mind. This is surprising, with creative people usually be recognised for taking decisive actions.
The creative architects had decisiveness, but it was at the right time. Not rushed, not straight away. Why was this?
Well, when the decision needs to be made makes a big difference. The creative architects would wait until the deadline to make decisions. This allowed them to take in all the information available, play with ideas and come up with different solutions.
The standard architects would be less creative, making decisions quickly without allowing ideas to flow.
Uncreative people don’t like uncertainty, it makes them anxious. They want to finish things to completion, which of course is okay, but anxiety can make people rush decisions.
You don’t solve decisions or make breakthroughs just by logic. Lots of logical people aren’t creative because they don’t like to play. They aren’t curious and don’t like to play around with different solutions.
2 Keys To Being Creative
Firstly, rushing around makes the mind too busy. To avoid rushing around, you need to be in tune with the unconscious mind and give yourself boundaries of space. Don’t let people disrupt you.
Boundaries are key. Give yourself an hour without distractions. No phones, not people distracting you. Just you and your mind. This is the time you will be most creative. Thoughts will come and go, allow this to happen.
Secondly, time is important. Having a specific, rigid start and end time can be crucial when being creative.
The same rules as above will apply during this time. This creates your own space to play and be curious.
Like the Buddha says, the cloudy glass becomes clear. The worries will being to settle and then the mind will flow. Don’t worry about thoughts not coming immediately. Some days they will clear, some days they won’t.
Several sessions may be needed. This is okay. At some point, after a few sessions, you will need to assess what you have thought about and think if the ideas you have created are any good.
However, one important thing to note is if you start getting critical too soon, you’ll kill the creativity.
Many authors have this problem, after starting to write a story, many will start again too soon. They could have been on to a bestselling book, but were too critical and killed the idea.
Give it time and follow it through. Plenty of ideas can come from mistakes.
There is nothing wrong with being creative, allow yourself to play and play and play.
The unconscious mind is an incredibly powerful tool, but it is hard to control.
Trust your feelings, go with your gut. Your unconscious mind has a huge memory. This can lead you to good ideas.
Influencer Marketing – Good Influencer Marketing Is Full Of BS – Ian Randolph And Luca Tornese
- Relationships are built on trust.
- Many influencer brands have no relationships with certain products, they’ll just show them off and collect the money.
- The people need to be put first, not the influencer.
- Trust is key.
- Have a look online and you see many influencers selling products that have no interest to their audience.
- This is useful for marketing and finding people who their audience trust and will be more likely to have a positive impact.
Headspace – Be Sci And Headspace – Clare Purvis
- They used a lot of testing to see what their customers wanted.
- From the results, they tailored their business model to shape how the business run.
- Many of the headspace customers wanted to see immediate benefits, even though there were proven long term results, many were put off if they didn’t see a result within a week.
- This could be key information for businesses, knowing customers want to see immediate benefits.
Evolutionary Ideas – Sam Tatam
- Sometimes, we have to look elsewhere for inspiration and ideas.
- The famous bullet train in Japan used nature to fix the problems of sound on the train.
Looked at the wings of an owl on how to reduce noise from the line above the train.
- They took inspiration from the beak of a kingfisher to reduce the noise of the train entering a tunnel (they noticed how the kingfisher dives into the water and how streamlined the beak is for piercing fish)
- This can be used in marketing, sometimes we can take ideas from elsewhere to fix problems.
- Not everything is straightforward, we need to take a step back and look at other areas for solutions.
- Researching other genres, fields and industries could be a great idea for finding inspiration.