Do you have an imagination?

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Do you have an imagination?

We asked you if you have an imagination and to date almost 120 of you have responded with a resounding YES!

Of course, being mischievous, we then went on to ask whether you felt you were valued by colleagues for what you imagine and whether there was a connection between this and how much job satisfaction you were getting.

We asked because over the years we’ve witnessed the tension between business people, strategists and creative people: Who owns the right to be imaginative? Who has the last say when it comes to contributing ideas?

More people value collaboration than those who do not

In essence we were asking how important is thinking ‘outside of the box’ to us all if we are to enjoy our roles? Our theory was that if it is an intrinsic part of the enjoyment people derive from their role then the best creative processes would be ones that give everyone the chance to contribute. We were exploring the idea that more people value collaboration than those who do not, preferring to come up with ideas in isolation.

The results are fascinating. Our imagination are used mostly when we’re problem solving 77% but in second place was using it to create a vision for a brand, service or product. So imagining is a big part of many people’s jobs. This is supported by the fact that for 96% of the respondents it is linked to their job satisfaction.

Encouragingly, 77% choose collaboration over working in isolation. However, a tough 23% would rather come up with the ideas alone.

We don’t need tools or processes to stimulate our thinking?

Surprisingly, it would seem most of us are working in environments that are inspiring enough, 53%. So all those books that suggest a change of environment is a good idea if you want fresh ideas haven’t made that big an impression. Worse, 60% of us don’t need tools or processes to stimulate our thinking. We wonder, is this because we have a screen in front of us and we are now all so used to stimulation coming at us through the internet that we don’t move from our desks?

We’re not that appreciated, that often

This is all very well until the theory is compared to the responses for the next couple of questions. Only 5% of us feel our ideas are always appreciated. For a large majority – 80%, our ideas are well received only sometimes and a substantial 15% only have ideas acknowledged occasionally. We can’t help wondering whether these percentages would change if people made better use of stimulating environments, processes and tools that encouraged collaboration…

Thankfully, by contrast, it would seem all of us get asked for our ideas at least sometimes. And yet, only 2% of us are actually interested in encouraging others to use their imaginations.

It’s better to engage everyone

So, who does own the right to be imaginative? Who does have the last say when it comes to contributing ideas?

The results of this research lead us to believe using our imaginations or thinking ‘outside of the box’ would seem to be very important to us all if we are to enjoy our marketing, communication or creative roles. It is an intrinsic part of the enjoyment we all derive from our jobs. If this is the case it would seem to follow that the best creative processes are the ones that give us all a chance to contribute.

With this in mind, is it therefore true that processes and tools that encourage collaboration are essential if everyone is to be engaged? And is it only by engaging everyone in the ideas process that a brand or business can be truly successful?

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