The Creative Economy
The fairytale of MACE
Student: Anna-Cathrine Grønkjær
Module: The creative economy
Module leader: Corinne Beaumont
Table of content
BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN 3
SECTION 1 – CRITICAL EVALUATION 4
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL – THE FELLOWSHIP OF TEMPTATION 4
A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR MAKES THE MEDICINE GO DOWN 5
PROTOTYPE AND KILL YOUR DARLINGS THE WIZARD SAID 6
WHAT DO YOU WANT AND HOW MUCH IS THIS WORTH TO YOU? 7
SECTION 2 – GROW MODEL 9
WAY FORWARD 11
AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER 12
Before it all began
Once upon a time in a kingdom not so far away, there was a girl who wanted to work within advertising or marketing, but she did not know how to. So one day she went to visit the wisest wizard in the kingdom that told the girl that she had to go to a country called England and there she should begin her journey as a knight of the MACE-order. And so the girl began her journey and joined the MACE-order.
“Our time is the time of fairytales” (Andersen H. C., 1868)
Section 1 – Critical evaluation
After travelling to the kingdom called England the girl made her way to the MACE castle where her training to be a knight should begin. As every other knight-trainees of the MACE-order she was asked to read documents of “the not so old times” and learn how to fight dragons. The great white wizards of the MACE-order had demanded the trainees to create their own smaller knight-groups and create their own secret weapons with which they were to fight the dragons they would meet in the future. And so the girl became a knight of the Temptation-table along with three other knights, who had all sorts of magical skills different from her own.
All for one and one for all – the fellowship of Temptation
Whilst training to become a knight of the MACE-order the girl quickly understood that her magical powers would be even greater when she joined these with the magical powers of the other knights of the Temptation-table (Kanter, 1988).
Working in a team or a group was not a new thing to me when I joined MACE, however working with people from different specialist areas than my own was very new to me. It was also one of the main reasons to why I ever applied for the course because wanted to see how this type of teamwork would be. My first thought was to get into a group with people studying film, design and music and I was actually quite surprised with the group I ended up with.
“One well known approach to providing organisational level creativity and responsiveness is putting together teams combining complementary opposites. Kirton suggests that creativity requires a correlation between different, if not opposite, thinking styles.” (Wilson & Gurling, 2008)
However I have learned that when you have a great chemistry and a shared vision the specialist areas become less important. This became clear to me when we first started our brainstorming process and through the whole process it seems as if our different ideas have nurtured on each other and have made us able to develop new ideas again and again (Perry-Smith & Shalley, 2003).
One of the main things that I have learned from our group work has been how important it is that all members are motivated and understands the vision. “Entrepreneurship is first and foremost a mindset” (Wilson & Gurling, 2008) Thus in Temptation we all knew in which direction we were going. Also this gave us the ability to divide the responsibilities in-between us according to our skills and was working in a way where we trusted each other and never felt that the others were looking over our shoulders. Personally this way of working increased my motivation and made me feel valuable to the team and in the future I will try to implement this into other teams. Thus we were able to impact the three components of creativity: expertise, creative thinking skills and motivation in a positive way (Amabile, 1988).
A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down
The girl knew that to be a knight and to fight dragons she had to have a lot of courage and strength. But soon she would come to learn that this alone would not be enough…
One of the most important things that I have learned from this module as well as from the process of starting Temptation is the importance of letting go and having fun with what you are doing. One of the factors, which became central for the understanding of and properly the creation of fun in the business-team was the structure and “feel” of the module. Having created a space for fun it seemed natural for the team and for me to let go and have fun with what we were doing. I became less risky and much easier to think of new ideas, and I found that when we had fun in the team we came up with many ideas and worked more effectively. When the group work began one of the major strengths was that the team was having fun with everything we did. Fun became an important element of how we got things done, the concept of the business and for the entire process of the business. One of the most rewarding things about the process was to see how the experience that we provided the customers and our co student allowed them to engage into our Temptation world and have fun. “Staging experiences is not about entertaining customers; it’s about engaging them!” (Gilmore & Pine, 1999)
As a conclusion to this I have learned that my creative room and environment needs to be a space that allows for fun, taking chances and even making mistakes. Also I have come to the understanding of the importance of having an open and positive mind towards others ideas in order to generate new and better ideas. In the beginning of the process I belief that I often took upon me a more realistic/pessimistic view upon the ideas of others and I have come to learn that by doing so you kill a lot of ideas and creativity.
“Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative and it is essential that we have people with initiative if we continue to grow” (McKnight, 1941)
Additionally one thing that MACE has learned me is that being and entrepreneur is not easy. It demands 100% motivation and a lot of hard work. Therefore I know that if I should ever start my own business I have to be 100% motivated in order to carry on when the times get tough. As in the case of Temptation I learned this from the experience of getting either no replies or no’s from a lot of restaurants just after Christmas. This was really frustrating and took a lot of energy from the team and left us in a blue mood, which I don’t think we would have been able to get out of if we had not been 100% engaged and passionate about the business.
Prototype and kill your darlings the wizard said
The girl was always told to stick to an idea and focus on it. People had told her that when fighting dragons she needed to concentrate on one solution. But she needed to come up with millions of ideas before she could find the perfect secret weapon and fight dragons.
”You can only change things that has been done” (Andersen B. , 1991)
In the beginning I must admit that I found it to be a waste of time and resources to make lots of prototypes instead of concentrating on one idea. I think this has a lot to do with coming from a culture where people live according to the say: if you shoot with disperse hail you won’t hit anything. But again during the process of MACE I have discovered why prototyping is extremely important. In our business team we have worked with a lot of ideas from a printed magazine to online magazine to dining events to a picnic. If it had not been for an ongoing sort of prototyping and brainstorming Temptation would never have been successful. Thus, due to an ongoing brainstorming and prototyping process Temptation transformed from a commodity to an experience and increased the value from a customer perspective (D’Amico, 2004). This also thought me the lesson of “human centred design thinking” and having the needs of the consumer in mind. Therefore the end-result of Temptation, the picnic truly gave me the understanding of how your offering needs to be centred around the users’ wants, needs and desires. So in the future I will allow myself to focus on lots of ideas and work after the fail early and fail often – idea, hoping that the idea I end up with will be better.
“fail early and fail often”(IDEO) http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/search/article/548074/fail-early-fail-often-ideo-service-design/
What do you want and how much is this worth to you?
The girl was asked to put a price on the secret Temptation weapon so that she and the knights of the Temptation-table would be able to sell this weapon to people. The girl soon became aware that this meant that she needed to understand the people that she would be selling the secret weapon to.
How do you know what a customer will pay for a product/service? From the top of my mind, I would say that the answer to that question is easy: you simply ask them how much the product/service is worth. Wrong! From MACE I have learned that it is extremely important to ask the consumers how much the product/service is worth to them in order to get a realistic picture. Thus I used this approach in my research about prizing. Therefore we got the results that a student magazine should be free and that the picnic was worth 5 pounds. Again this shows how important it is to understand the consumer and feel empathy in order to provide an experience that is worth this price. Thus the understanding of our segment’s desires and needs resulted in an added customer value. Moreover this really showed how adding customer value as in the case of the emotion of “fun” which was a key word for the picnic as an event became highly relevant not only for the price but also for the entire success of the event as an element of innovation.
“Innovation success is related to the creation and delivery of added consumer value” (Jobber, 2007)
Again being able to feel empathy for our segments became central when writing and producing the webpage and has been tried to implement all through Temptation, from the brand logo to the content of the webpage to the picnic. Thus in the team we often had these conversations; we are students our selves, what would we like? And what would Meg, Johnny or Bing like. Off course these personas were build after our market and segment research, which allowed us to feel empathy for these segments and to understand them. Actually the level of feeling empathy became truly clear to me at the picnic, when I talked to my team members and we all said; we don’t care about the amount of profit as long as everyone have fun and enjoy themselves.
Section 2 – GROW Model
Back in not so ancient times in a kingdom not so far away a girl had had a mission, to work in advertising or marketing and she had begun her journey to try to get there. She had started as a trainee to become a knight of the MACE-order and while reading documents, talking to the white wizards, fighting dragons and creating secret weapons she had learned many things. The girl was now coming to the end of her time as a trainee, the wizards had given her all the wise words they could and she was on her way to face the world and fight the many dragons on her own.
The girl was packing her bags, putting on her armour, staling her horse and was getting ready for to leave the MACE castle as a knight of the MACE-order. She left the castle with the goal she had come with.
The job of my dreams is to be a copywriter for an advertising agency. This job is the reason why I did my degree, applied for this master and the job I would kill for. However because this job is very difficult to get I have a list of other jobs that are parts of my goals for my future carrier. One of the jobs that I find very attractive is the jobs of a media planner or account manager within an agency and the job as a brand manager for an international brand.
Having gone through the process of starting a business the idea of starting my own advertising or communication agency has become one of the goals for my future in the long run. This is something I imaging I would do after several years of experience within the industry and at a time when I myself are at a stage where I can put everything else aside in order to start such a business. Even though setting up Temptation has been hard and difficult it has been very exiting to follow all of the stages of the process and it has been extremely rewarding to see your vision and idea come alive and be shared and enjoyed by others than your self and your team members. Getting positive feedback on the website and on the picnic from co-students and customers has been so enjoyable that it was worth all of the struggles.
The girl was on her horse, riding towards the land of advertising; a land which boarders were guarded and protected by the most horrifying dragons in the world. Yes the girl had her goals but would she ever be able to reach them? Even though she was a knight now she was still a very young and silly knight and the dragons she were to meet were all so big and dangerous.
At the moment I am somehow far from reaching my goals. I am at the stage of writing my dissertation, applying for internships and finishing my master degree. However I only have one year of ‘real’ work experience, which was from before starting my undergraduate degree and is not really related to the advertising or marketing industry. Therefore I am in the position where I need to build my way up from scratch and need to do everything to get the right internships and work experience. Also the competition of getting my dream job or actually any job within advertising is enormous and the recession has had a negative impact on the agencies and thus on the job situation within the industry.
So when considering the amount of steps I need to take in order to get to where I want to be I recon that there are a lot of steps that I need to take from now on. However I do believe that I have taken some important steps in my way to get to the goal. Being in charge of 120 students for a year, coaching dance and gymnast teams through many years, getting my education and master degree and not at least trying to set up a business, Temptation are some of the steps that I have taken until now and hopefully they will get me into the right path.
After many days and nights the girl finally came to the boarders for the land of advertising and there she saw the major dragons. They were bigger and looked more evil than anything she had ever seen in her life. The girl pulled her sword, found her courage and got ready to fight the dragons.
After attending some career advise workshops about getting jobs in advertising I am now aware of some of the obstacles that are blocking my way from reaching my goals. As one of the teachers said the main problem of getting a job in advertising is to find a way to get the foot inside the door. There are no job-adverts because the jobs are so attractive and have many applicants. Also a lot of jobs are given to people who know people who know people, and as a non-UK citizen I don’t have that advantage. Therefore I know that I need to make myself standout and show that I am not only the right person for the job but also that I am hungry for the job. One of the options I have is to make write my motivated applications in a different way that will be interesting and fun and that at the same time represent me. To do this off course I need to do some research about the different agencies and jobs so that I can target my applications according to the specific job and agency. Thus, I intend to see if it will be possible to use some of the concepts of marketing and design thinking into applying for jobs and see if it turns out to be a good solution.
One of the other obstacles that I have to fight with is that lots of the creative jobs demand for portfolios. As a student without much job experience I know that I need to use the summer to try to make a portfolio. I already plan to attend a workshop focusing on building portfolios by the end of summer. Also I plan to use content from Temptation as part of my portfolio such as some of the content that I wrote for the webpage along with other parts of the business and explain just exactly how I contributed to this.
This is also related to some one of the other challenges that are connected to advertising as well as to a lot of other jobs, the lack of work experience. Even though it is a young industry a lot of the places are still looking for people with some amount of experience, which I don’t really have. Therefore I intent to highlight the experience that I do have form before entering MACE and also highlight the experience that got from doing MACE, because I think it I really relevant to the industry and because it is some sort of job-experience. Moreover the obstacles are many and hard to fight through and I think that some of the hard times during the process of Temptation where all that kept me going was my passion and motivation will be useful when facing some of the future obstacles and tuff times.
The girl attacked the dragons, but they were fighting back with a power that was more than twice of what she had experienced during her training at the MACE castle. She thought she should die and prepared to say her last prayer. But she got the strangest idea; she put down the sword and started to tingle the dragoons’ stomachs. And it worked the dragons fell around and laughed so much that it almost coursed an earthquake. While the dragons were busy laughing the girl got up and quickly passed the borders.
Yes there are many steps to take before I getting my dream job or reaching any of my goals. I have several obstacles and several opportunities As a result my way forward will be to try to target my applications for jobs and for internships in order to get my foot inside the door. I will try to ‘sell’ myself as me and put emphasis on the interesting, fun and creative sides of me and trying to implement this into every part of my applications in order to stand out and to show who I am. Also I will use my experience in MACE and with Temptation as some of my advantages, which differentiates me from many other applicants. I will put a lot of focus on getting a job or internship and will see this as a way to show what I a worth and hope that this will improve my chances of getting a job within an agency. I will try to build up a strong and wide network hoping that this will be an advantage to me and the other individuals of that network. Again I hope that the network that my education and possible future internship and work experience have given me with people in various industries will be an advantage.
And she lived happily ever after
The girl had done it, she had concurred the dragons and passed the borders. She was now in the land of advertising and in this land she would live happily ever after.
“The fairytale awaits for he who understand how to seize it.”(H.C. Andersen)
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