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Creativity & Collaboration

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Anatomy Of A Cannes Winner: NTT DoCoMo Xylophone. It was one of those passed-along web films that cut through the irony and the cats and stopped people in their tracks.

Anatomy Of A Cannes Winner: NTT DoCoMo Xylophone

The video depicted a wooden xylophone built and deployed in the middle of a sun-dappled forest. A ball was released at the top, and as it rolled down the sloping instrument and dropped onto each wooden “key,” it played an all-natural performance of Bach’s Cantata 147. No tricks. No computer generated images. Just the light hand of Japanese craftsmen and perhaps an added poignance lent by the timing of the release of the video--completed and launched as the tsunami hit Japan.

The video was created for Japanese telecom NTT DoCoMo’s new Touch Wood SH-08C phone, a kidney-shaped device encased in wood harvested from Japan’s forests. Morihiro Harano, creative director on the project (now at NY/Tokyo agency Party) takes us through the steps that made the spot a success. 1. What Happens When Japanese Creatives Form A Supergroup? Party.

Call it a creative supergroup if you like, but please don’t call it an agency.

What Happens When Japanese Creatives Form A Supergroup? Party

Separately, and in various combinations, Naoki Ito, Masashi Kawamura, Morihiro Harano, Qanta Shimizu, and Hiroki Nakamura have produced an impressive array of distinctive and critically acclaimed work. Earlier this month, the five stars announced they were leaving their respective jobs at ad shops in Tokyo and the U.S. to launch Party, a Tokyo- and New York-based creative company that they prefer not to call an agency.

The partners say they want to make Party a creative lab, and do work that marries entertainment, product development, technology, and advertising. They'll work with brands, and on entertainment and self-driven projects across platforms and borders. Kawamura comes from Wieden+Kennedy New York, and BBH, but is equally well known for his own projects, including the award-winning "Hibi No Neiro" video for the Japanese band Sour. Party will be based in Tokyo and New York. Use "Weird Rules" To Boost Your Creativity.

Ten years ago, Stanford professor Robert I.

Use "Weird Rules" To Boost Your Creativity

Sutton wrote a book on how to manage for maximum creativity called Weird Ideas That Work. After studying some of the most innovative people and companies, Sutton concluded that what is right for routine work is consistently wrong for creative work. The best way to manage for creativity, he discovered, is to simply take every tried-and-true management trope and do the opposite. Armed with this epiphany, he laid out his “Weird Rules of Creativity.” In the decade since, many of Sutton’s “Weird Rules” have become, if not standard practice, characteristic of typically innovative companies. Here are a few of my favorite “Weird Rules”: 1. As a manager, one tactic might be to allow an employee to state his case for a project or innovation – then invite team members to dissect it. 2. As Sutton puts it, “Creativity is a function of the quantity of work produced.”

Brainstorming 2.0: Making Ideas That Really Happen. One of the most common questions we hear at 99U is: “How do I get more out of my brainstorming sessions?”

Brainstorming 2.0: Making Ideas That Really Happen

While brainstorming sessions have become perhaps the most iconic act of creativity, we still struggle with how to give them real utility. The problem of course is that most brainstorming sessions conclude prematurely. We all love to dream big and come up with “blue sky” ideas. We’re less fond of diving into the nitty-gritty details of creative execution. As a result, we spend 90% of our time coming up with a bunch of great ideas, and maybe 10% (if any!)

So how can we retool our approach to brainstorming to make it more effective? Disney’s rigorous creative process involves 3 distinct phases of idea development, each of which is designed to unfold in a separate room. Step 1 asks “WHAT are we going to do?” It’s all about dreaming big. Room Setup: Airy rooms with high-ceilings are the best locations for thinking big. Mentality: Any idea is fair game. Step 3 asks “WHY are we doing this?”