Delighted to attend the Silicon Beach event in Bournemouth, UK, last week. Two days of great speakers sharing their passions and insights on creative strategy, brands and digital innovation. For me, these events remind us that we must not lose sight of the big opportunities and motivations, despite the pressures of dealing with day-to-day projects and deadlines. In no particular order, here are the notes I made (complete with a lower-level of swearing than was used at the event). If you haven’t been to this annual gathering, I would encourage you to look out for it next year and book early (link below):  

  • Do things out of passion, not for money. Passion, not profit, will result in profit. Passion-led ‘WOW’ projects pay for themselves in media coverage and profile raising. Things become profitable after that.
  • Bring people in – collaborate. Be grown up and find a way to work together. The circumstances around us are changing. That's why we adapt and change. Shit happens, and it's never as bad as you think.
  • You don't have to deliver the innovation. Create the right environment and culture for innovation to happen. Create a simple platform and let people create with it. With a small amount of design intervention, you can change a whole environment. Create safe spaces for people to come together. People want creative opportunities. They want chances to have a go.
  • We support leaders that seem certain in their thinking and direction, but we need people who can adapt and will change their mind. Creativity is about uncertainty. In new uncertainties are the new opportunities.
  • Long-term visions matter a lot. Create long-term scenarios. What is being done in the next 6-12 months to get toward your 10-12 years scenario for the future?
  • Create in the service of humanity. What is economically viable may not be good for human society. Create a future where humanity flourishes.
  • People drive things, not technology. Crazy, driven, energetic people create communities with a good vibe. Community action is the only thing that will change anything.
  • No-one gives a shit about your brand. Brands are not understanding this. People want the good content - not the crappy advertising. Crap ideas are born in board rooms. Board members sit round talking about things they don't understand, wanting to interrupt your day with their messages. There is no interest in this. Brand problems need more intelligent answers.
  • Content needs to be nourishing. Are you nourishing or polluting? There is an endless demand for real human stories. Brands just talk about themselves. True content is about humanization. The majority of content is seen by less than 100 people. What makes you think you will cut through the mass of content created every day, every hour, every minute when people don't trust brand information anyway?
  • The client/agency relationship is broken. The belief by procurement people is that creatives sit around doing f*ck all. Client success is about achieving sales. Agency success is about billable hours and covering costs. Instead, go into business with your clients - become partners. Agencies have to be smarter at handling client relationships. Our job is to sell stuff. Commercial creativity is very important. Sometimes your job is to give your clients hope and belief in themselves.
  • Join with your competitors. Create teamwork – it requires a combination of skills to make something brilliant and incredible. We're spreading ourselves too thinly. We are not multi-tasking we are just task-switching. This is just reduces our ability to focus. Creativity happens when you're having a life.
  • Design (user-centered design) matters, perhaps now more than ever. Put human insight before creativity. Use insight to develop new business ideas. Know the user - embrace discovery. Go headfirst into the darkness together. Trust that you will land somewhere awesome.
  • We need to decide what we want technology to do. Put people before technology. Have faith in people. Don't be afraid of new technologies. Be afraid of getting stuck in old technologies.
  • Provocation is good. Memorable communication is a challenge. It's good being different - it's a way of having a personality, of standing out. But being different is easy, being ‘better’ is hard. 
  • Stay bold - stick with your plan. Avoid those who just steal your time and energy. It's always a journey, it's always a challenge. Win hearts, blow minds.

This was originally posted on Linked-In