What’s new in the world of creativity and innovation? For the second year in a row, the Global Executive team at The New School was on a mission to find out at the Cannes Lions Festival. Here is a round-up some of the top take-aways from innovation’s leading luminaries:
- Service design is the barometer of success in 21st century business (and no industry is safe). In other words, how can companies — big or small — put the user experience, and each stage of their engagement with that company’s product, at the center of the need they are hoping to solve for? Not only that, but also the knowledge that consumers are now looking at and evaluating companies’ success from within the larger pool of their daily interactions with various products — whether or not they’re embedded in similar categories. Users want a bank that can serve them as well as their local coffee shop: with personalization and an eye towards providing the best possible service.
- Facilitated discomfort is the key to creativity. How to keep your creative outputs fresh? Numerous experts – including Parsons’ own Lucille Tenazas and reps from IDEO – emphasized again and again that perhaps we come across our best ideas by putting ourselves — or at least our brains — under forced duress. An example? Try putting yourself through forced synesthesia, that’s what Lucille would recommend.
- Start embracing serendipity. Inspiration and opportunity can come in every (wrong) move. The value of “serendipity” is something we know a lot about at the Global Executive program, and Melissa Rancourt, the Academic Director of the Global Executive MS Design Strategic Design & Management, is probably its greatest advocate, having led a TEDx Talk on this topic. Telling by the Cannes Lions President’s keynote, apparently she and he are on the same page. Because serendipity, like the 21st century economy itself, is all about finding opportunity – and planning strategically – with the happy unknowns in mind. Markets are volatile. Opportunities are fleeting. But embracing an attitude and approach that helps you spin happenstance into meaningful business strategy is (or should be) the bedrock of any contemporary commercial enterprise.
It’s a lot to take in, these take-aways from the Cannes Lions Festival. In our estimation, though, there’s actually a relatively simple way to roll them up together and wrap your head around what they mean. Two words: Design. Thinking. An approach at the heart of the Global Executive program, and one that, if our experience at Cannes is any indication, will be driving the conversation around business, technology, and innovation for years to come.