The School of Communications and Reputation hosted Commencement Address by Gabriela Lungu for the graduating ClassOf2020. She is Global Creative Director at Geometry UK and Founder at WINGS Creative Leadership Lab. She began her address by congratulating us on successfully graduating. Her session was insightful, engaging, encouraging, and the energy that she exuberated, infectious. Her topic of discussion was on ‘The Power of Creativity.’ For better understanding, she divided creativity into 3 parts and shared how to apply it in the below-mentioned areas.
Roles of creativity – She has been working in the creative space since she was 21 years old. She stated creativity changed her life and career. In 2017, having more than two decades of experience in plethora of areas from PR, Marketing, Communications, Events, Activations, and Promotions, etc. she realized she was prepared to wear the entrepreneur’s hat. Thus she founded WINGS CLL.
She shared how we use creativity to relax, entertain, solve our problems, explore opportunities, etc. She went on to add that to kill boredom we often use our creativity to find a movie or a video, cook or mediate, etc. When you don’t have big budgets to fight competitors, you use creativity. Always treasure creativity as one can do many things. It’s a tonic of the mind.
She backed it with a personal story – Gabriela was born with a big head and at 8 months she couldn’t hold her head like other children as her body was tinier than her head. Her parents went to several doctors. Finally, a clever woman doctor advised them that, “She has a big head; she will be smart, genius and creative.” This stuck with her parents and throughout her growing years, she was told this often. It got ingrained in her mind.
The first rule of being creative is to believe in you. Don’t doubt creativity, reach for the stars. She advised that one should aim high and have an objective to be the most acknowledged and respected creative PR professional. Big dreams don’t happen with low ambition. She shared an inspiring quote by Leo Burnett, “You reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
Create your own Luck – Don’t wait for an opportunity. When you work hard, the more opportunities you will see. And luckier you will get. Say yes as much as possible. Go out of your way to do things. Don’t have a ‘No’ mindset. Sometimes learn to say no because certain people may try to take advantage of you. Be careful and always have positive expectations.
Feed your Brain – Learn as much as possible. Stay curious, hungry, consume ideas before creating ideas. Be energetic, passionate, and have fun while working. Read and watch not just what you like to but also what others like to do. This way you will be well prepared and be knowledgeable.
Learn Resilience – It matters the most. Perseverance and the ability to bounce back are integral. Flexibility to reshape yourself is what makes one a creative genius and a leader. It’s also important to accept failure and learn from it. Any new creative idea is risky and one cannot tell if it will be 100% success. Failure can be used as the most powerful tool for self-development.
Motivation – Don’t wait for others to motivate you. Keeping yourself motivated is your responsibility. Practice self-awareness; know your drainers and energizers.
Creativity is even more important for the post COVID situation. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report – The 3 most important skills in this new decade are
This pandemic has bought upon us:
Be an All-Rounder – Becoming an all-rounder is the need of the hour. You have to learn to do what other colleagues are doing and fast. Be highly adaptable and versatile. Be the type of professional who can work independently, successfully, and will be higher in demand than ever.
Master the Process – Whenever there is a problem, research, explore from all angles, evaluate and choose the best solution, not the obvious one. Then jump to creative solutions. Be a creative – ADULT – don’t rely on others pre-masticate and pre-digest the information; go to the source, draw your hypothesis and conclusions.
Maximize the Creative Time – Don’t believe in muses – they’re fickle beasts. They are capricious and unreliable when you need them most. Believe in smart processes that lead to smart outcomes. Use techniques online – search for them; they are far better than daydreaming and waiting for inspiration to strike.
Learn to be great at Selling – There is a massive difference between having brave ideas and making brace ideas happen. Good ideas do not sell themselves. You have to make efforts to sell them.
Data tell us about creativity and business. According to the IBM Global CEO study which surveyed more than 1,500 chief executive officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide states, Creativity is the single most important leadership competency for business success, outweighing others such as rigor, vision, or global thinking.
According to Futurist Gerd Leonhard, “Everything that can be digitalized and automated will be digitalized and automated. This means innovation and creativity will be every business leader’s priority in the future.”
Cannes Lions is the most important festival of creativity in our profession. According to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, over 2 decades of international measurable research demonstrates that brave creative work drives increased ROI and even share price performance.
Finally, she spoke about adopting an underdog mentality. It is massively important. Underdog is someone who has fewer resources than a high dog. The only way to succeed is to be ambitious.
There are 3 ways in which underdogs function:
She added that creativity is intelligence having fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.
The commencement concluded by Gabriela wishing us success and best wishes for our future.
– Nafisa Jalal
Nafisa Jalal is a part of the Class of 2020 of PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe, Mumbai. She completed her winter internship with Ketchum Sampark, Mumbai.
She completed her graduation in Psychology and Sociology majors from Sophia College, Mumbai University. Then started her career with Human Resources in a generalist profile for 6.5 years. She wanted to venture in an industry that lets her work on business closely, provides an opportunity to learn and meet new people and at the same time is also dynamic. PR is one such industry. She has good command over her communication skills and she enjoys writing, few traits that a PR professional must possess.