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Retail Trends opinion

Creativity missing from management portfolio

By: Dave Nemeth | 20 Apr 2011 14:58
Although the future may be very uncertain, what we do know is that new ideas and creative innovation is what will see companies taking the lead and increasing market share.
An in depth look into the corporate structures of various large companies, reveals that there is still no shift in the structure of CEO, MD, HR, finance, strategy, marketing, IT & operations, though some companies have added a portfolio entitled sustainability.

These are all very necessary, but nowhere do companies include a creative director and creative team - not in the sense of marketing but thinking and trends.

No matter how good the company culture, extreme new ideas will very rarely come from the current structure due to current challenges and shorter term problem solving. Companies use designers to design everything from cars, to homes, to furniture and clothing yet they don't get these same creative minds involved in designing their businesses and coming up with concepts that will enable them to leapfrog the competition.

One may well ask what designers know or understand about business and that is the fundamental point - simply prompting staff to "think out the box" is not going to achieve great innovation. The box has been destroyed and totally out-dated, companies need to be thinking in different dimensions altogether, such as hexagons or polygons, to create an analogy.

These creative minds that are eventually involve in a company's business need to report directly back to the executive board and be involved throughout all issues of problem solving, no matter how strategic it may seem. These creative minds, regardless of design discipline need to have a good understanding of current and future pop culture, fashion and technology.

I believe that the sooner companies start involving creatives, the sooner we will start to engage in truly forward thinking ideas and great "new" business developments.

About Dave Nemeth

Often referred to as one of South Africa's leading trend experts, Dave Nemeth is a qualified designer who has been in a variety of industries over the past 20 years. His company Trend Forward presents the Nemeth Trend Report annually in all major SA cities. Email Dave at , follow @davenemeth on Twitter and connect on Facebook.
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