DesignThinkers: Rei Inamoto

Photo from RDG Ontario

Keynote speaker Rei Inamoto is chief creative officer at AKQA, a firm that creates campaigns for big media spenders Nike, Visa, Xbox and others. His presentation was broadly on fostering an innovative creative culture. "Innovation is what keeps you relevant in the business and creative landscape of the 21st century," he contends. "It is the culture, not process, of a company that makes innovation happen."

With the digital and social options provided by today's media, advertising (or the delivery of any creative or commercial or community message) can be enhanced by 'story doing' rather than the traditional 'story telling'. Involving the reader yields greater results.

Inamoto's five points in designing a culture of innovation:

  1. Do what wasn't possible 5 years ago.
  2. Solve an obvious problem in an unexpected way or solve an unexpected problem in an obvious way.
  3. Specialization is the enemy of innovation.
  4. If you can't find a way, make one.
  5. You need three types of people on your team: a hacker (builder/coder), a hustler (business/sales person) and a hipster (creative)

Fun quote that Inamoto left on the screen at the end of his presentation was from Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys: "Lick the lollipop of mediocrity once and you'll such forever."