Kevin Roberts, Chairman of the Agency Saatchi & Saatchi – one of the leading creative organisations in the world with a staff of more than 6500 people and 130 offices in 70 countries. Saatchi & Saatchi works with 6 of the 10 top advertisers on the planet
Kevin Roberts is the acclaimed author of the bestselling book “Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands” (2004), published in 18 languages, writes startup.org.
He is currently honorary Professor of innovation and creativity at the University of Auckland, an honorary Professor of creative leadership at Lancaster University, and Emeritus Professor of leadership and innovation at the University of Victoria.
In 2013, Kevin, as a citizen of New Zealand, was awarded the order of merit (CNZM) for his achievements in business and society.
Kevin Roberts about creative leadership and marketing as art.
We live in a world which Americans call a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA – an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). It’s the world today – and he’s not going to change. This is a very interesting time for creative people because the old operational models are no longer functional. Management is dead. Marketing died. The strategy is dead.
We have moved into an era of ideas. It seems to me that we live in energetic, full of hope and optimism, a free and revolutionary world. In the past, in order to change something, needed money, connections, power. Today you need only a computer, Youtube and Facebook. And, of course, a good idea. With these tools you can change the world for 12 hours.
Progress is now in the hands of madmen, because they have ideas and courage to implement them and they are not afraid of failure. The only thing stopping us is a lack of confidence in their abilities and lack of imagination.
In order to win in the VUCA world, it is not necessary to focus on the new. New is already old. What is important today is not new, but real, actual. We want to live in the actual era, because it brings us joy. Businessmen, marketers and all the creative people it is important to understand that everything they do must bring joy to people right now in the present.
We moved from an economy of attention to the economy of participation. Everything we do should attract and involve. The old model of marketing and management one-sided, but today, people want to participate in all of them tweeting, blogging, taking pictures, sharing thoughts and impressions. From the era of the information flow, we turn to the era of inspiration. Marketing should inspire people to action.
Now marketing is led by emotions. Marketing is not science, it’s art. Rational thinking leads to conclusions. Creative thinking leads to action. Forget everything that you know, get rid of skepticism and trust your instincts. When you are confronted with the idea, ask yourself three questions:
- If I want to see it again?
- If I want to share it?
- If I want to improve?
In the new world winning is not overbearing leaders, and creative. What you need to become a creative leader?
To have a purpose. You must have a dream, of which all would like to be.
Have lots of small ideas. Do not need to waste time looking for great ideas if you do not. Creative leaders put forward a little idea, let the customers develop it themselves.
To be able to change the angles. Steve jobs has created a new product from the lack of the usual possibilities: he removed their goods are unnecessary and overpriced. Creative leaders know how to turn problems into opportunities.
Surprise obvious things. For many years Steve jobs has refused to sell the products Apple retail. After opening the store, he was surprised by the obvious. Now his store is the most profitable in the world.
To create a compelling. We talk about the future beyond brands. Brands are easily replaceable. You need to create what claims to be the indispensable and irresistible – something before what people won’t be able to resist.
In order to achieve this, you need to think about the following aspects:
a) Mystery. The more people that know, the less they have interest. They are attracted by stories, not information. Your work should be similar to the work of the storyteller. It is the storytellers in the near future will earn the most.
b) Sensuality. We experience the world through their five senses at the same time. Most brands refer only to two. Find a way to involve all five.
c) a Sense of intimacy. For all its mystery, we must be on the same wavelength with their customers, and we have to be equal. We no longer provide its users with the instructions, but only to help and advise.
The main tasks of creative leadership.
Inspire others. Creative leaders are creating a society in which the secured responsibility, learning, recognition and joy. In this society full of new ideas.
To execute his plan. Instead of months to plan, discuss and negotiate, creative leaders focused on action. Our Agency does not have annual plans, we will outline a plan just for one hundred days and running the point. You need to learn to fail, and quickly correct their mistakes.
And finally – three important rules.
First – live with enthusiasm: we only have one life and you should live it with enthusiasm.
The second – a search for perspective: a different view of life generates outstanding ideas.
And third – make a better world : the role of business is to make the world better for all of us.