Last October, David Armano, SVP/Innovation Chief at Edelman and I spoke at MIMA’s annual summit, a pretty terrific annual conference in Minneapolis. We agreed that we would not use decks, and instead that we would simply talk about our experiences trying to inspire others to embrace new ideas and technologies.
Our premise was that you don’t need to be a chief innovation officer to know that pushing boundaries in business environments can be both rewarding and often times frustrating. Advances in society, technology and the way we work have paved the way for innovation to happen in virtually every field.
But it can be hard. Muscle memory, organizational structure, physical space and a fear of change all present formidable challenges.
Yet for agencies to be more innovative — creating utility not just messages, practicing prototyping instead of demanding perfection, launching new businesses — we need to change. We need to change ourselves, our processes, our teams, even how we conduct performance reviews.
There were some good questions and topics for conversation. We talked about how innovation can be small; it doesn’t have to be big. How it’s hard to find funding for projects when agencies are in the service business not the software business. How important it is for our industry to become builders rather than message makers. How the next generation of creators wants to build things out of technology and code and APIs, not out of words and pictures. How simple tactics like “shut up and write” can inspire new thinking. How different teams comprised of the new creative person – digital, social, able to write code – can yield unexpected results. How it might be worth launching new sustainable businesses within existing companies.
MIMA’s Annual Summit is one of the better events I attended last year. Executive Director Tim Brunelle does an amazing job organizing an agenda and attracting speakers. And the opportunity to connect, network and discover sources of new ideas makes attendance well worth it even you’re from another part of the country.
David and I played a small role. But if you’re interested in what we do and how we think, and you have an hour with nothing more important to do, here you go.
Note: This video only became available recently. Hence this post four months after the actual event.