What creative agencies can learn from Broadway Musicals
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What creative agencies can learn from Broadway Musicals



Joanna Bakas was recently invited to join a panel at Ubercloud on the subject of which was collaboration, co-creation and crowd sourcing. ...

Joanna Bakas was recently invited to join a panel at Ubercloud on the subject of which was collaboration, co-creation and crowd sourcing.

Find out more about the deck on our blog: http://www.lhbs.at/thoughts/2011/09/28/what-creative-agencies-can-learn-from-broadway-musicals/



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What creative agencies can learn from Broadway Musicals Presentation Transcript

  • 1. what creative agencies can learn from Broadway musicalsabout collaboration and producing box office hits@jo_vanna@lhbs_atcollaboration and co-creation are big buzz words these day but most organization either don’t do it or don’t do it well in order to optimize the best outcome. here are a few interesting insight from another creative industry: BROADWAY
  • 2. crowd-sourcing, co-creation and collaboration revealing the energy of creative ideas there is not much that one can argue with - these are good words and good practices - for the purpose of this small document, let me say that what I mean by Creative Ideas are those holistic concepts that can transfer brands and not simply one off creative executionsby collaboration I also mean people and team coming together to jointly run brains together to solve issues not simply having ALL disciplines under one roof, each adding their bit to the puzzle for me collaboration is not ad additive creative process but a full merging of skills, knowledge and building off of one another
  • 3. the pace of change requires new thinking and new talent at a fast pace the digital evolution has changed the collaboration, co-creation and business & creative landscape and arguably crowd-sourcing are powerful simply facilitated the ability to tools to energize people and ideas connect, exchange and grow ideas. BUT in what framework? a key reason for collaboration and co-creation is the fast pace of change creative agencies are challenged with because new technologies enableconstantly new ways for brands to tell and love their stories - because new technologies emerge daily a shop can either try to keep up with new skills and talent acquisition ( a daily event ) or promise one stop shop shopping and frankly not be able to deliver on the promise but do some frameworks work better than others? are some team setups more productive in producing consistently great output?
  • 4. Kellogg Study: Brian Uzzi & Jarrett Spiro Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/index.php/Kellogg/article/collaboration_and_creativitysome insight comes from academia - several years ago, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University conducted a study of creative ‘social networks’ by looking at the creative teams that come together to create Broadway musicals - they examined a huge body of work spanning decades of work involving thousands of individuals.
  • 5. organization of creative social networkshow they govern success‘collaborative’ conditions for a ‘hit’ success: critical acclaim & industry recognition, commercial successthe Kellogg team looked at the teams that come together to put together a full musical as ‘social networks’ much like a Facebook or Twitter these people have some level of previous experience together, are connected with the broader industry by some degree of separation, either with many degrees or fewer the research looked at this level of connectedness and measured success rates of variously connected teams much like creative agency criteria for success, the study defined succes as having two components: critical acclaim and industry recognition coupled with financial succss
  • 6. creative talent networked in ‘small worlds’ and bigger worldscreative talent networked in ‘small worlds’ and bigger worldsconnected and cohesive working towards the big HITanother similarity between the two industries is the fact that many types of talents come together to produce a hit or a flop - on Broadway, it’s a director, producer, story teller, composer, lyricist, choreographer, etc...
  • 7. gelling individual creative inputs into one big ‘production’ and much like agency talents, they get together to bring their creative capabilities, fine tune stories, get inspirationfrom one another to make the outcome better, more creative and more relevant and finally ‘launch’ what is hopefully the polished job
  • 8. new blood and industry veterans ‘success is derived from ‘individual capabilities are relationships with other amplified or limited people, through whom we through the network’ get access to capabilities and expertise beyond ourselves’the main finding of the study is that for success, it’s not just what you know, your individual talent and creativity butalso who you know, the level of connectedness of any one team - basically, the level of ‘like mindedness’ contributes to the hit rate as well as to the high or low level of creative contribution of each individual - the RIGHT BALANCE of insiders and new blood seems to the righ balance or the ‘BLISS POINT”
  • 9. hitting the sweet spot of collaborative success finding the ‘BLISS’ point
  • 10. Fig. 6.—Financial success of a season % financial success % critical acclaim connection and cohesion Fig. 7.—Artistic success of a season the percentage of productions that might be considered SUCCESS produced by teams with low levels of connectedness and cohesion is low and rises to an optimal point of connection then reduces drastically when the teams become too tight, have been exposed to the same people and ideas in the past - in short the teams that weremade of mainly industry insiders also failed with work that was too conventional, expected and ‘safe’ and seen before
  • 11. hyper-cohesion & connectiontoo many insidersinsulated and protected The blue octagons represent respective teams for various productions. The pink line represents how connected they are to one another, the industry and peers they share within their networks. In the world of online social network this represents how much teams ‘share the same news feeds’ and therefore creative impulses and stimulus. This is an examples of teams that are brought together with too much like mindedness and connection. Because they’re ‘swimming’ in the same pond, they rarely bring any new perspective to the table and they produce generally weak and conventional work even though the teams themselves are highly committed to producing ground breaking outcomes. Their world is too small and this is referred to as the SMALL WORLD limits talent PROBLEM. no new knowledgeoutput: convention even though the teams are deeply committed to non conventional thinking and ideas
  • 12. This diagram represents a teams who are not linked enough through their networks. Teams that are too loose and lack enough cohesion generally have either big hits or massive flops and their success is not sustainable. There is not enough similar frame of reference to tie together the team. They lack shared knowledge and lack insiders.too loose This is slightly contrary to what might consider when putting together teams of totally un-like minded people, generally expecting that they deliver totally new and innovative ideas. They may but these ideas may not always be relevant and therefore fail. not enough common frames of reference not enough cohesion to maximize idea exchange
  • 13. right balance of industry insiders and new bloodacceptance of ‘risk’ the bliss point This is an illustration of the ideal level of connectedness and like mindedeness. It represents the right balance between conventional and innovative thinking and the right balance between insiders and new blood. New and powerful ideas will not generally come from people will not come from teams that share the same knowledge, experience and ways of looking at the world. Nor will they be continually generated by new ‘outsiders’ with great talent and creative minds. You need a bot of the old school and new school and this is a big lesson for creative agences. Mix, use and mash up the classic and the new for more and better outcomes. right balance of convention: understandability & innovation: freshness
  • 14. old and new for commercial success
  • 15. that your peers will applaudold and new for critical acclaim & higher industry standards
  • 16. old and new for an environment that amplifies individual talent
  • 17. thank you Joanna Bakas Managing Partner LHBS @jo_vannaLHBS Consulting GmbH http://www.lhbs.atRasumofskygasse 26 / Neubaugasse 1 http://www.twitter.com/LHBS_at1030 Wien / 1070 Wien http://www.facebook.com/LHBS.at