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Inspiring Creativity Within Culture at First Tube

Marissa Roberts 7.1.24

Studies show that 98% of 5 year olds test as highly creative, yet only 2% of adults do on the same test. I don’t think it’s the case of losing our creativity as we age, it’s that we begin to be self-conscious and censor ourselves from sharing the wild things that enter our imagination and excite us. 

In the professional world, I often hear “I’m not creative” from people across tech, sales, or account management. Contrarily, I have experienced creative environments that take themselves so seriously it is unwelcoming or intimidating. In reality, everyone is creative and every job requires creativity! Sometimes we just need permission and courage to tap into it.

As the Creative Director at First Tube, I don’t just work to build proposals, activations, and campaigns that are highly creative for all of our clients, I aim to enable our full team, regardless of role, to tap into their creative sides and share what is inspiring them. In return, this not only builds a positive culture filled with diverse thinking, interests, and opinions but also allows me to deliver better work for our clients as I am learning from my teammates around me. 

Each month, we host a team-wide meeting called “Inspiring Creativity” that invites four team members to share what is inspiring them lately across trends, talent, activations, and more! It has become a highlight each month– learning about games like Jubensha, a fascinating Chinese Murder Mystery game that is becoming a leading way for young singles to meet new partners, to up-and-coming visual artists, AI developments, and a deep dive on choreographer-directors in the music video space. This has grown into getting to know each other better, hosting team outings, and even starting a Dungeons and Dragons group on Slack.

The key here is that creativity and generating original ideas don’t always just pop into your brain— they are often inspired by research, connection, and experiences. And in a fast-moving industry, I use this article not only to inspire the readers but also as a personal reminder that creativity is a practice and it takes time to refine. 

Drawing inspiration for this article from the book: Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, he outlines the following steps for the creative process:
  1. Lay the groundwork: Preparation and research to immerse yourself in the topic or problem.
  2. Contemplation: Take time to think and contemplate— a step I find is often missed. 
  3. Revelation: Next, we experience an Aha! Moment, or many. You are one step closer to solving “the problem”.
  4. Appraisal: Then we must evaluate what we have discovered to see if it is worth pursuing. 
  5. Refinement: While this is the final step, this is actually when the tangible work begins as you start to create and elaborate on your discoveries. 

In short, creativity takes hard work! These steps can also apply to many industries, roles, and tasks. The need to think creatively is universal and when you permit yourself you’ll find there is inspiration everywhere. 
So, as we are all ‘wired’ differently what helps you think creatively? How do you find the courage and momentum to break free?