Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Great Creative Debate

Recently it has become aware to me the increasingly important role of creativity in business.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Sir George Cox speak at the 10th Annual International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) Conference. Cox was responsible for an independent review of Creativity in Business in the UK in 2005. Full PDF files of the review can be found here.

He made some great recommendations to build on the UK's strengths in relation to the increasingly competitive Global Market, especially with the advent of offshore manufacturing. His speech was relevant to Fashion Design and Australian Design in general, in the way that ideas and innovations need to be commercialised and exploited to other areas traditionally not concerned with 'the creative'. As more manual jobs go overseas or immigrants are brought in to fill these roles, a point of difference must be had to maintain competitive. Take Europe for example, no longer does it have the capacity in a spatial sense to compete in conventional practices like China, India & Russia now do, but it is increasingly renowned for being the centre of Design, Art & Culture.

To breed creative business leaders, innovative education pathways should be sought. Customarily a MBA is the widely held and respected degree for management level but in an article from Harvard Business Review for Breakthrough ideas for 2004 (ok not really a timely reference), the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) was becomingly increasingly popular with employers as an alternative. Often this involves a complementary education allowing peripheral vision using both sides of the brain.

It reads... businesses are realising that the only way to differentiate their goods and services in today's overstocked competitive, materially abundant marketplace is to make their offerings transcendent - physically beautiful and emotionally compelling.

With examples such as the Apple Macbook Air or Designer Collaborations for Target (which sold out within hours) representing a competitive advantage through design, is it evident the results creativity can provide to business...
(Image courtesy of Gray's Anatomy)

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