It’s World Creativity & Innovation Day (21 April), closing out International Creativity Week. Hooray! Aren’t we all so creative?
Yes. And, no. Well, you can be. It depends. We’re here to tell you it’s time to reconsider your view of the creative industries. Specifically of companies broadly termed “creative agencies.” So many people lean on them for innovation. If you’re one of them, pause for thought.
People who find creative agencies’ claims to innovative brilliance over-the-top may sympathise. Fear not, we will also show you how to overcome.
Inclusion = creativity & innovation
You see, there is a large (and growing) body of evidence that the more diverse a team is, the more likely it is to come up with creative thinking.
Research by independent, New York-based thinktank the Centre for Talent Innovation (CTI) shows that teams with multi-layered diversity – real diversity of experience, not just having a few different people around – are more likely to successfully:
- Innovate for their target consumers – 158% more likely!
- Penetrate a new market – 70% more
- Create a new product – 75% more
- Capture market share – 45% more
Further, research by Deloitte supports the CTI conclusions on innovation, finding it 83% more likely that companies with an inclusive team will develop innovative solutions and 31% more likely that they will be responsive to their consumers’ changing needs.
Backing this up at an even more basic level, in-depth quantitative analysis of US corporate results demonstrates that companies with a good diversity record have significantly higher revenue, number of customers and profitability.
And the creative industries?
Not so good. The Creative Industries Federation diversity report shows the industry is way behind the UK national average for the proportion of BAME, women, sexuality, age and socio-economic background.
So, odds are that if you’re hiring external consultants in the creative field they’re probably set up to be less creative in the solutions they find than you are.
Sure, people are trying to take action and these things always take time to change. Especially when you’re not set up to come up with the most creative solutions in the first place.
This doesn’t mean you have to settle for seeking innovation and creativity from a non-inclusive bunch.
Creatively ahead of the curve
Reluctantly Brave is set up to channel creativity because we’re inclusivity-hard-wired. It’s about ensuring underrepresented groups get into the industry both because it’s the right thing to do and because it produces better results for clients.
- Our Chief is one of the only black creative agency leaders in the UK.
- We have diversity of experience as a hiring criterion.
- Our (Young) Braves program pioneers the creative benefits of inclusivity for clients.
- We mentor young people from diverse backgrounds with an interest in starting or advancing their careers in the sector.
We’re not pretending that creating the right, inclusive blend is easy. However, we know we are way ahead of the curve. We figure that if you need innovation and creativity then ahead of the curve is where you want to be. Inclusion is how you get there.
 Center for Talent Innovation: Innovation, diversity and market growth (2013)
 Deloitte: Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup? A new recipe to improve business performance (2013, Sydney, Australia)
 Herring, C: “Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity” (2009, American Sociological Review, Vol 74, pp 208-224)
 Creative Diversity: The state of diversity in the UK’s creative industries, and what we can do about it (2015, Creative Industries Federation, London)