The Big Picture
Who would have thought that the age old activity of colouring-in could make a big comeback in a digital age? Widely covered in the news this week has been the success of Amazon's top selling colouring-in books, The Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest.
Author and illustrator Johanna Basford thinks ‘it is really relaxing to do something analogue, to unplug, and of course it's highly creative. Commenting with Johanna on BBC Radio Scotland this week, Ros Taylor, a leading psychologist and contributor to the CCA MBA programme, explained that the colouring-in activity unleashes all sorts of positive enzymes in participants' brains, and has significant potential in helping individuals' problem solving abilities.
Rather than viewing it as a formulaic activity within pre-set boundaries, individual creations are highly differentiated, each with a distinct personality.
Perhaps it begs the question of what we mean by creativity as it relates to enhancing our lives; is it less about brand new creations and more about how we create better ways of doing things?
As we are in the thick of an intense election campaign, things can seem a little grey and dull. Like many of you I am sure, I had a chuckle when I saw the Green Party election advert last night featuring other political party leaders, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage in an austerity boyband called Coalition.
The Greens claim that the other main parties are all 'singing from the same hymn sheet' and mocks the Tories, Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP for agreeing on austerity. Love it or loathe it; and the public seem to in equal measures, the advert is certainly being talked about. Given their role as a challenger against the established parties, it appears that they decided to unleash a little creativity by producing an alternative communication strategy, rather than try to compete by doing the same as the rest.
What about creativity in the world of customer experience?
We tend not to link contact centres with creativity; rather they are associated with conformity and consistency. Dealing with high volumes of (mobile) customer interactions often in a heavily regulated and process-driven environment can obstruct the desired fluidity of conversations and instead downgrade communication to a robotic exchange.
The temptation to 'do the colouring-in' at corporate level, rather than let people choose their own colours and tones must be resisted if customers are to experience a more authentic and helpful experience. Most of the organisations we speak to are on a journey to improve self-serve so that customers have confidence whichever channel they choose.
Freeing up experts at the end of a line to have great conversations is an ongoing journey as so much of our lives are in transition from analogue to digital. In particular, ensuring that colleagues have the correct and real time drawing of brand understanding and requirements at their fingertips; and of course a varied palette to create a masterpiece for each customer is vital.
Now where did I put that yellow crayon?!