Insight

by Debbie Bates-Schrott, 6.30.2020

The Perfect Time to Color Outside of the Box

“Focus on true entrepreneurship. Change your Business. Focus on what you can do. Use social media to share, go live on Facebook, hold group meetings.We can survive. Humility is power.”  -Gary V.

There has never been a better time to color outside of the box. Not so long ago, a lot of us were comfortable in the monotony of a routine. We took little things for granted like going into an office or hugging our parents. As we have learned, things can change in an instance.

In business, we must ask if our survival depends on creativity, and look to organizations who are finding opportunities in lieu of everything going on for guidance. Verizon brilliantly jumped ahead of the curve as consumers began to feel isolated during the initial stages of social distancing with PayItForwardLive, a weekly concert series. This move activated a need for their audience and built brand sentiment that may stick in the mind of consumers forever. You can even support small businesses on their landing page. 

But bringing a creative idea, let alone a creative company, from ideation to fruition overnight is nearly impossible. We have been reading for years that creativity is a desirable trait for modern C-Level leaders. But what role is creativity going to play moving forward? Does our survival depend on this creativity? 

So, I want to think about how we as creatives can come together by coloring outside of the box more often. It might feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but it also might be the thing that saves us in the face of unpredictability.  

Focus On The Things You Can Control 

With all of the uncertainty happening in businesses, it doesn’t help anyone to let the ambiguity and complexity of the world consume your future. Instead, exercise the control you do have. Whether it be your employees, your audience, or your community, if you have the privilege of influencing others, figure out how you can solve their problems and answer their questions. 

As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” The truth is, we may find ourselves somewhere in the middle. Will we come out of this seeing creative thinking, agile leadership, and a no-boundaries approach as the winning concoction for business leaders?

Looking Ahead

It’s important to remember that the present is just as important as the future. We don’t always need to be completely immersed in what’s already happened while worrying about what’s coming next. Living in the moment is a choice, and instead of turning to autopilot when things get tough, I think we can all do a better job working toward creative outlets that help us view the present world through a unique lens. 

Recently, we have found new ways to conduct our virtual workshops with clients using tools like Miro. This not only solves a need right now but is a solid solution long-term if teams aren’t local or have a limited travel budget. 

We have also seen organizations rethink their approach to event experiences. AMA Baltimore innovated at the MX Awards Gala, bringing a personal touch to their virtual show. They delivered us a thoughtful box with wine,  our award trophies, and a branded background to take pictures with while celebrating the event. This shows us that creativity is trending in a direction that intersects technology and personalization, while still building human-to-human connections.

Let’s Keep The Conversation Going Beyond

To provide your organization with weekly actionable insights, we have recently started producing “Going Beyond”, a YouTube show where we virtually sit down with brand leaders in technology, higher education, healthcare, non-profits, and more. Each episode discusses firsthand how their organizations are innovating in the world of digital marketing and communications. 

If you need some inspiration for your next creative idea, learn about what Nabila Shami’s team at the National Aquarium is doing to take advantage of social media and remote engagement despite being closed or hear how Little Kids Rock is discovering new opportunities in their first-ever online Annual Summit on Tuesday, July 7. 

I want to continue having these conversations to share ideas about how brands can use creativity to move forward. Please reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter if you would like to discuss the role of creativity in business. I have a lot more to share on the subject and want to continue building an accessible community to further your mission together.

Debbie Bates-Schrott's headshot

Debbie Bates-Schrott

Debbie Bates-Schrott, Founder and CEO of Beyond Definition, has 25+ years of experience in branding, print and digital and marketing strategies. Her visionary perspective on cutting edge brand experience initiatives positions the Beyond Definition team as growing thought leaders in the media landscape.

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