Usually, at the beginning of the year, lists of good intentions are made, as if the previous year was all to be corrected. Instead, I would like to show gratitude for this 2018 that has just passed, sharing five things that it has taught me about life and creative work and that I think can serve as inspiration for others.
Creative Work Revelation #1.
The importance of saying “I don’t know”
Admitting you don’t know is almost taboo. The expectations of our friends, colleagues, clients, or even just networks, push us to show off our knowledge, even when we don’t have it. The fact is that pretending to know – a bit like Woody Allen’s Zelig – creates unpleasant situations, even in creative work, and above all prevents us from learning and therefore from growing.
In 2018 I chose the path of transparency several times: not only did I discover that my interlocutor was not outraged, but admitting that I didn’t know allowed me to go deeper into the subject.
Creative Work Revelation #2.
The importance of thinking in a simpler way
Complexity is very fashionable today. The more intricate a thought, the more valuable it is. Working with very concrete clients who are close to the public has taught me not to be afraid of simplicity: often things are exactly as they seem. You don’t need reversals and paradoxes to understand reality – not always, at least. A customer may simply want comfortable trousers or a kinder welcome, not necessarily a universe of values.
For those who work in communication, immersed in buzzwords, it’s a bit of a Zen practice: we eliminate every unnecessary and abstract concept and go back to thinking as people.
Creative Work Revelation #3.
The importance of saying “I need more time”
There’s never time, is there? All the people I talk to complain about this “constant urgency”, but I also often agree that it is often more apparent than real. Add to that that branding takes time that is often “not compressible”.
That’s why I tried to reverse the trend and ask customers and partners for the right times: I found that many are willing to invest more time for better quality, maybe we just have to have the courage to talk about it.
Creative Work Revelation #4.
The importance of paying a real compliment
The likes have made us lazy and we think that’s enough to express our appreciation for an idea, a job or a result. It always seemed to me a bit reductive: that’s why I started to accompany the likes with more in-depth compliments, maybe made in person.
Not only is it more rewarding for those who receive them, but it also helps me understand why I liked that idea.
Creative Work Revelation #5.
The importance of not making predictions
This is particularly difficult: communicators are often asked to become seers and to see what will happen in one, two, or five years’ time. We play the game, but it’s a rigged game: few of these predictions come true, or have any impact on the results.
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