“Creativity,” Again, Most In-Demand Soft Skill for 2020, Says LinkedIn!

Not surprisingly, CREATIVITY is once again king of the soft skills for 2020. Based on a LinkedIn Learning report from earlier this year, Creativity was not only the most in-demand soft skill last year, it has retained its place as we move onward in 2020.

Furthermore, LinkedIn said, “Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR”.

LinkedIn Learning researched timely data from their network of over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs to reveal the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020. Persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and emotional intelligence rounded out the top five, all skills that demonstrate how we work with others and bring new ideas to the table.  Four of the five most in-demand soft skills remain in their top spots year over year.

The lone exception, LinkedIn noted, was emotional intelligence — defined as the ability to perceive, evaluate and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others — a newcomer to its list, which “underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues.”

The one variation in the most in-demand soft skills list indicates that companies are gravitating toward talent with interpersonal and people-oriented skills. It’s notable that employers are placing more emphasis on emotional intelligence in particular.

The top 5 most in-demand soft skills are: 

#1 Creativity – Same as 2019

Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020.

#2 Persuasion – Same as 2019

Leaders and hiring managers value individuals who can explain the “why.” To advance your career, brush up on your ability to effectively communicate ideas and persuade your colleagues and stakeholders that it’s in their best interest to follow your lead.

#3 Collaboration – Same as 2019

High-functioning teams can accomplish more than any individual—and organizations know it. Learn how your strengths can complement those of your colleagues to reach a common goal.

#4 Adaptability – Same as 2019

The only constant in life—and in business—is change. To stand out in 2020, embrace that reality and make sure to show up with a positive attitude and open-minded professionalism, especially in stressful situations.

#5 Emotional Intelligence – New

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. New to the most in-demand skills list this year, the need for emotional intelligence underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues.

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Special Edition – Global Quotes: COVID-19, What it Means to the Advertising Industry

In a London-based publication on advertising, Shots conducted Q&A interviews with various agency and production firms around the globe.

They were asked one thing: How are you and your company coping with the current restrictions and what impact do you think they will have on the industry and your business?

In this special edition of Quotes, relating to that question, we hear how businesses are coping, what the potential fallout of this crisis could be, and about the initiatives being put in place to foster creativity during this isolation period. Here are some highlights.

quote

 

Recovery will happen, however, many of the brands and clients we work with have other priorities right now and we are very sensitive to this. Sarah Cutler, Director of Partnerships, makemepulse London

Right now, the world is in isolation physically and emotionally – I believe there will be a reaction to this. Simon Hatter, Founder & Creative Director, Rumour Has It Amsterdam

Some are set up for success and, for others, this will be a wake-up call.  Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Toronto

The world must keep moving and creative problem-solving has a vital role to play.  James Razzall, President, Advertising North America, Framestore

As crippling as this crisis has been for our industry, finding ways to support brand messaging in a time where consumers are looking to them to give back is a vital role. Justin Wineburgh, CEO & President, Alkemy X

Our Chinese co-workers shared their best practices at a very early stage, both from a business and safety aspects.  The worst scenario would actually be not to come prepared for what’s next. We must help companies and brands to be up and running just before lockdown ends.  Olivier Lefebvre, CEO and Partner at FF Paris

The best response is to think how you, as a brand, can be genuinely useful to people. Sam Walker, ECD, Uncommon London

This will result in less projects and less work and unfortunately, in the long run, put companies out of business. Espen Horn, Executive Producer, Motion Blur Norway

I see this hitting of the pause button not just as a problem but, just possibly, as an amazing opportunity.  Charlie Crompton, Managing Partner & EP, Rogue Films London

Due to the fact that there is zero new business coming in… we also started to develop self-improvement ideas for the whole company.  Patrick Volm-Dettenbach, Executive Producer, ELEMENT E Filmproduktion Germany

The world is also changing how it consumes media. Print will likely take a hit (Playboy was the first to announce it had stopped printing).  Héloïse Hooton, Founder, Hooton Public Relations

Our biggest priority is to relieve the anxiety of everyone in the company. Joseph Bonnici Partner & Executive Creative Director, Bensimon Byrne Toronto

I am convinced that advertisers will have to continue communicating through campaigns/commercials, especially once life returns to normal. Ruben Goots, Founder and EP, Hamlet Belgium

What will never change about our business is that creativity, craft and smart solutions will always win the day. Ari Kuschnir, Founder & Managing Partner, m ss ng p eces

It is simply impossible for any business to survive a period of expenditure with no income over a prolonged period of time. What we don’t want is a lag in getting going again and that is very much the views of the agencies we have spoken to. Spencer Dodd, Joint MD & EP, Merman London

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If this crisis has one upside for entrepreneurs, it will be to force us to focus on essentials, reinvent how we do things in a leaner way.  Simon Cachera, Co-Founder, Victor & Simon Amsterdam

 

 

 

If you liked this post, check out some others here . . .

Future of Advertising

What of advertising? What of normalcy?

What of Coronavirus? What of sanity?

What of the future? The simple truth is, we don’t know.

Yet.

Though we can’t predict the future, we can wager a pretty good guess at times as to how we think all will turn out. However, everything is so up in the air right now. No one really knows what’s going to happen with this Coronavirus and the lives it has touched, plus those it hasn’t reached yet. I came upon this publication covering a variety of topics relative to advertising and its perceived future.

Regardless of the impact of COVID-19, vast changes in the way we do things are inevitable. Touching on several areas of marketing and creativity are key players in the global scene sharing their perspective on advertising and the ways we deliver the message to the consumer. Here are a couple of highlights.

Ads, Authenticity and Action

“Marketing is in a perpetual state of disruption . . . but the best way to deal with disruption is to lead it,” so says Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Proctor & Gamble. It’s “constructive disruption” he’s looking for: “There have been many disruptions that have destroyed value but the hardest task is to disrupt in a way that creates value for the consumers we serve.”

As it relates to marketing, he adds “(we want to create campaigns) more superior, more useful and more interesting to the point where people actually look forward to seeing ads.” He continues “The way we’re focused on doing that is by merging the ad world with other creative worlds, with music, comedy, sports and entertainment. So, we can continue to convey the superiority of our brands. But done in a way that is really engaging.”

The Campaign for Creativity

Philip Thomas, chairman Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, “believes creativity is essential for business growth, industry and societal change and as a driving force for good.”

“The businesses we work with tell us that embedding creativity requires the right conditions and culture to drive long-term, sustainable growth and impactful brand building.

“For brands and businesses to remain relevant and future-fit, they must continually reinvent.

“In recent years, we’ve seen an emerging trend in creative work driven by purpose. And on Festival stages we have seen brand activism, social justice and diversity lead the discourse. There’s been a recognized shift in the move from purpose and activism to accountability, and of course action.

“With the combination of global reach and power of brands, as well as the expertise of organizations like the UN, and the unbounded creativity of the advertising and marketing community, change for good is truly possible.”

There is no one single “conclusion” or summary statement relegated to the future of advertising. That’s because its state is comprised of various amounts of integral data, cultures, points in time and marketing techniques. It’s complicated and it will change.

The publication Raconteur lays it out nicely and is an interesting read.

Enjoy!

 

Future of Advertising Cover

Creating Together in a Post-Coronavirus World

We’re still right in the thick of this mess, the Coronavirus pandemic, and with no signs of it letting up. In fact, it’s just the opposite; more cases are reported daily, around the globe. Just about a week ago a little less than 200,000 people globally had been infected while over 7,500 people have died.

In order to try and stop the spread of the virus, the globe’s inhabitants are retreating inward, at least most of them. “Stay home, stay healthy” seems to be the motto of the day. If ET were to re-visit Earth right now, he’s probably wonder, “Where did everybody go?”

Businesses are shutting down and boarding up, as if they’re dealing with some big storm surge. Eating places are delivery or take-out only, if they’re even open. Schools are closing until further notice and most modes of transportation have ground to a halt or have severely curtailed their routes. Grocery stores have become almost barren, especially the paper goods and beverage aisles.

Most everyone is self-quarantining. Very few people are on the roads unless they just have to be.

Yet, the virus persists and is spreading. Damn!

TogetherWeCreate

Image source: Unsplash.

Writing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Rohan Reddy says, “Our hands have never been cleaner, human contact is being frowned upon, people are getting sick or dying. We don’t care much about advertising or design anymore; mortality is our reality, we care about surviving.

The executive creative director for the McCann Africa network continues, “When 2020 comes to an end, the world we live in will probably look very different from the one we said goodbye to in 2019. And it is impossible to predict what this new world will look like.”

I agree with him. The world is in uncharted waters with this virus. We’re doing good to react, let alone react in some timely manner. Forget about planning and acting on the plan. This stage is in its infancy, though it is forging ahead.

making more masks

Some corners of the world are doing better than others; Italy seems to have their act together while the U.S. is falling behind and will be doing good to “fight a good fight.”

Reddy again, “Creativity will save the world. People will look to our poets, our artists, our musicians, our dancers, our inventors, our architects, our engineers, our writers and designers to redefine humanity’s purpose post-Covid-19. Businesses will look to their advertising agencies and design studios to redefine how we consume everything from food to fashion to travel.

“Because, at the end of 2020, it will not be business as usual. It will be something completely different. We will spend our money differently, we will save our money differently and we will probably make our money differently too.”

buildingnewhospitalinWuhan

We won’t have to wait until the end of this year for business and living habits to become different. That is happening right now. Our lifestyles and business practices are changing, out of necessity, right before our eyes. We will be “ever-adapting” continuously through the rest of this year and into the near future.

Creativity will play a vital role in how we think, solve problems and present solutions. Creativity won’t be the exclusive territory of advertising. Hopefully, creative thinking and development will be in hyper-drive so that society can be the benefactor.

I think most intelligent people will adopt a much more sincere form of togetherness, a true multi-partisanship. We, as a society, really have no choice. We have to create through togetherness since our survival depends on it.

Past actions of stupidity and greed will be looked upon incredulously. There will be no room for them in our future. Disease, like this COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate when it comes to these fallacies; it also doesn’t play politics.

italy on lockdown

No matter how long it takes to save ourselves from this pandemic, creativity will and must play a part. That’s creativity in all forms, not just in the creative arts.

Together we need to rebuild into a better, much more aware future. The creative minds among us have a responsibility to craft a sound and viable and livable future for our society.

I agree with Mr. Reddy. As a creative, I can’t do this on my own. I can, however, do it together in forming a creative front to help lead us in progressing forward. We owe it to ourselves, our children, their children, as well as the planet.

Let us create together!

Creativity in the Corporate Ivory Tower? Sheesh, surely you jest?!

This is not a whodunit, nor is it a Perry Mason murder mystery about the Case of the Kangaroo Court. What it is, however, is the Business Case for Creativity.

An excerpt from a review of the book itself reveals, “Debate in the advertising and marketing industries has raged for decades: does creativity make advertising more effective? Or is it just the folly of creative people looking to win their next award?

“The arguments of both advocates and cynics have until recently been based on conjecture and anecdotal evidence. James Hurman’s seminal creative effectiveness book The Case for Creativity brings the debate to a conclusion with three decades of international research into the link between creativity and business results.”

Tom Roach, BBH’s (Bartle-Bogle-Hegarty) effectiveness head, was asked by Thinkbox to present the business case for creativity at their spring event. Inspired by Thinkbox’s own  innovative slide desk, the presentation he gave brought together the best evidence for the value of creativity in marketing communications. Here are excerpts from that presentation along with my own take on the case for creativity.

Case for creaivity

Simply stated, without creativity one has nothing. The beautifully executed creative plan of an advertising campaign can not be overshadowed by something comprised of “just the facts.” The campaign must have charisma, its own personality, to be believable. However, being believable doesn’t necessarily mean playing it safe or conservative.

Take this attitude from Keith Wood of Unilever in his Forward of the book:

Forward-Case for Creativity

That may be the case but the industry still has a ways to go and many more folks need to know. While this may be true, can we say there is a crisis in creativity? If so, how so and what is it?

First, let’s take a step or two back and ask: “What do we mean by creative?”

Well, there’s this . . .

Novel . . .

And this . . .

Good ideas . . .

And this somewhat in-your-face guideline . . .

Make it different . . .

Okay, all good and fruitful definitions and clarifications of what creativity is or entails. As with several key issues in the business world, creativity is complicated, especially when the problem is multifaceted and everyone on the marketing committee has a different viewpoint.

But, is there a crisis in creativity? Well, let’s see.

Trends Wrkg Against

Campaign effectiveness has fallen (UL), Budgets have been falling (UR), Short-termination has been rising (LL), Long-term cases have lost efficiency (LR)

Ad Blocking

Hmmmmm, looking kinda murky, isn’t it? Let’s consider this :

Rising Sea

 

Smart Phones

Autos

Ah, yes, nothing like differentiation in car ads!

 

Case for creaivity

 

Creative Companies

S&P 500

Disruption

Creative Execution

Emotional

Ad Slogans

While the above slides are true, I vote for more thoughtfulness and less cutesyness. In some advertising, the ad could have the audio muted (saying what the ad is about) with just the video or image shown, and most folks wouldn’t be able to tell what product is being promoted. Let’s face it, cars and cologne can be interchangeable. And, I guess, trucks are destined to be driven only in the “out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere” scenarios.

Creativity Brings

I’d like to add at least one more: Intangibles. Sometimes you just don’t know what makes a good ad good. It just works.

 

Our Objective

I definitely agree with this last poster. Effectiveness is key to creative execution. Smart creativity is a must. Play to one’s audience still applies but do so without insulting their intelligence. I’ll go out on a limb and say that, generally speaking, a twenty-something copywriter has little to no understanding of how best to relate to the “senior plus” set, unless he can relate to his grandparents.

Case for Creativity Book

If you want to view a more in-depth portrayal of this presentation, see the Business Case for Creativity. It’s not your ordinary slide deck. Neither is the book on which the presentation is based.