Manifesto for Creative Studios

Updated: Nov 14

The manifesto for running a Creative Studio is to establish the conditions that bring together creative talent to make meaningful marketing and brand experiences by nurturing a culture of creativity through a do-it-yourself sensibility and a social system that allows people to create without fear which is embraced, encouraged, imparted, and practiced.

The seven principles for leading creative studios are:

1. Set the right conditions that enable people to create without fear

The purpose of organizational development is to provide leading-edge thinking, practice, and programs. You cannot curate a culture of creativity by subscribing to it or buying it from a shelf. It is a social system about values, skills, craftsmanship, and a way of doing that needs to be embraced and practiced throughout an organization to nurture people to create without fear, feel empowered, free, and safe to express themselves without fear scrutiny and retaliation. They approach problem-solving openly and innovatively by trying out new ideas and ways of thinking and doing. It takes skill, practice, and persistence, but the results pay off, influencing society by changing opinions, instilling values, and translating experiences.

2. Apply a People-Centered Design-Based Approach

By taking a research-led approach that applies ethnographic and anthropological techniques and tools to observe people's behavior in their natural situations to capture what they do. This approach helps understand cultural trends and lifestyle factors through context, norms, routine, and daily life habits within communities and societies. Having social context influences your product creation and marketing process by informing design, positioning, messaging, and packaging.

Everything begins with real research to understand the context and frame the problem, why, what, how, where, and when. Don't assume that you know everything. Keep an open mind, and conduct quantitative research on what can be measured and qualitative research on the phenomenon, which can usually only be observed and described rather than measured. Once you dissect the research patterns and insights that emerge, then synthesize them into the right solution to the problem.

3. Blend the art and science of aesthetics to create a differentiated identity and Experience

Design and direct your aesthetic vision to enable product creation that connects emotionally and delivers value to audiences. Define guidance to set expected standards that infuse through the entire branded assets and experiences. Establish and articulate creative direction to drive brand cohesion and integrity across all touchpoints. Proactively respond to industry and cultural insights that drive change to create products, services, or experiences. Anticipate opportunities to set future trends based on socio-cultural, economic, political, and technological drivers. Infuse the relevance of market trends to new solutions and future direction and formulate the strategy for timing, design, and positioning for the future.

4. Back yourself by having confidence in your own truth

Creativity means believing in yourself and your ideas, always moving forward, and never giving up! Tap into your innate talent, experience, ability to empathize, and having the confidence to believe in your instincts. The creative process can be chaotic and messy, so free your imagination with childlike wonder and curiosity and the persistence to navigate the unknown to craft a magical polyphony. Take a holistic view by seeing the world as it should be by visualizing and navigating towards invisible horizons. Being fearless in your expression by transcending the ordinary, routine and predictable.

5. Cross pollinate across multiple domains to seek inspiration and expertise to force multiply innovative outcomes

Providing something new to the world means overturning the status quo by embracing originality and making unique connections between disparate universes to light the way into the future. It is important to collaborate when exploring new ideas, finding innovative solutions, and not being afraid to learn. Collaboration is the cross-pollination and sharing of knowledge across multiple domains by combining individuals' intellectual capital and know-how.

6. Stand on the shoulders of giants and learn from history to authentically create the future

Learn from history to avoid reinventing the wheel to make progress in your creative pursuits by using existing knowledge by learning from pioneers of the past and building upon their innovations rather than reinventing the wheel. History helps us understand the world, cultures, events, and change by providing invaluable stories, lessons, and philosophies from which we learn. The past has made us who we are today. Understanding history builds better connections and broadens our capacity by allowing us to stand on the shoulders of giants. We learn from them and build on their innovations. History educates us on how society, technology, and government worked in the past to better understand how we got to the present day and how it works now. It arms us with the insights to create a better way forward.

7. Lead without frontiers

Creative leaders have confidence in their ideas and never give up on bringing them to fruition. It means leading without frontiers by seeing around the corners and fearlessly navigating into the future by continuously managing innovation that powers the products you design, make, sell, and the businesses you run.

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About the Authors

Roy Sharples

Founder and CEO of Unknown Origins, a creative design studio on a mission to save the world from unoriginality by unleashing creative power. Author of "Creativity Without Frontiers: How to make the invisible visible by lighting the way into the future." Curator of the world's community-driven storytelling platform that provides everyone access to insights and content from creators worldwide.

Photo credit: Brian Smale

Fred Warren

Multi-award-winning Creative Director and founder of Wonder 14, an Immersive Entertainment company. As a writer, director, and designer, Fred has conceived and brought to life original interactive story worlds all the way through to short-form commercial video work, weaving multiple threads of human interaction into memorable and magical experiences.

Attitude. Imagination. Execution.

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