Speaking at Goafest 2023, Nick Law, Creative Chairperson and Global Lead for Design and Creative Tech, Accenture Song, pointed out the seven principles that he has developed over the years, across his earlier career stints, and deploys them at the David Droga-led organisation.
Accenture Song’s Seven Principles for the Future of Creativity, which as per him has been developed during his stints at Apple, Publicis Groupe and R/GA, are:
Consistent Principles, Dynamic Practices
In Law’s opinion, this is the mega principle that actually refers to all six remaining principles as every creative company needs to have consistent principles and dynamic practices.
“There are some things that you stand for and those don’t change, and then there are things that come along and you need to respond to different opportunities, technologies, etc. that change constantly. But importantly, to deal with the rapidly changing practices, if you don’t have principles, then you never will be able to distinguish yourself,” he said.
He also pointed out that every time something new comes along, there should be a way that “you and only you” can respond to that and that’s why principles are so important, irrespective of the business or the market that one operates in.
Singular vision, collaborative culture
This principle, in Law’s views, is quite crucial because the nature of creativity in today’s day and age is collaborative, one cannot live without mixing and matching different ways of thinking.
“One of the great art forms of the 20th century which India is pretty good at is films and at the end of the same, the credit roll contains the names of the various people that have contributed to making a film and bringing to life just a single vision that’s in the head of the director,” he added.
First, design yourself
Because things are changing very rapidly in today’s scenario, there is a need to reverse engineer organisations based on what is being delivered, as per Law.
“Every time a change happened in the ecosystem, we had to restructure our teams and rethink how things got made which is a very important point - because sometimes our industry forgets that an organisation needs to be dynamic in nature if you want to make dynamic things,” he said.
Furthermore, he went on to emphasise that the symbols which indicate creativity in any organisation, in his views, is the connect- what pieces of the organisation is one connecting and how are you designing the connections on the basis of capabilities, organisations, etc.
He then went on to share his self-developed taxonomy of connections- Transfer connection, Compound connection and Synthetic connection.
In his views, most companies are actually good at Transfer connection wherein information is being shared from one place or level to another.
Similarly, the Compound connection, he opined, is where one thing makes the other better, for example- data and analytics, analytics and strategy, strategy and creative, creative and technology, etc.
“What I think when I make these connections is that what’s the goldilocks amount of two things- information and collaboration - that is being passed on to the other person,” he added.
However, the most important of these connections is the person-to-person or synthetic connection because the two individuals who have two different skill sets are making something that they couldn’t individually make by themselves. It’s not a transfer or transaction between them but an organic composition, for example- Art and Copy, Design and Storytelling, etc.
Loose with ideas, tight with execution
As per Law, this principle is quite crucial because there are two modes of working and executing on the creative side- one is about dreaming, seeing and sympathising with the connections and then executing, and the other where an organisation goes straight into the execution without dreaming, similar to the classic cliche.
Technology is Creative
Without technology, one cannot be creative and take the idea of one’s own head and put it out in the world, therefore when creative people complain about technology, they are not complaining about the traditional options such as broadcast, print, etc. that they mastered in but the ones that came after they mastered in these mainstream mediums, Law stated.
“An important thing about new technology is that as they emerge, at the beginning, they are owned by technicians, and my role as a creative person at Accenture is to get creative professionals working closely with the new technologies as soon as possible,” he said.
Law also suggested that one shouldn’t sacrifice depth because shallow simplicity is when an individual came up with the strategy after seeing just one truth and mentioned that in the brief.
Sharing an example to support his statement here, Law stated that back in 2005, when he was working on Nike Pods and in the process, the team ended up complicating the process with too much data, and that’s where he realised that the depth of knowledge had taken over the simplicity, however later on the product was simplified to ensure consumers were not overwhelmed with unnecessary complexity.
Start in the middle
In the advertising world, the inverted funnel of Awareness-Consideration-Action doesn’t exist anymore, because the consumer doesn’t go top-to-down because of internet which has boosted the research process for consumers, rather than spending time on the experiences, as per Law.
“We don’t need to build out more mid-funnel activities but actually have the quality of understanding at the top and should be more dignified with craft, clarity and concept. Our biggest sin is when we start separating things for efficiency and don’t connect the pieces which is why scale can be a problem,” he said.