“Working with Oishii Creative … was a fantastic experience. They brought a high level of creative integrity to the project and were able to work within our parameters while still thinking outside the box. What they executed creatively was matched with a strong sense of professionalism on the business side. They hit every deadline, came in on budget and managed every step of the process skillfully and efficiently.”
— Carey Zeiser, Supervising Producer, NBCUniversal / E
“Oishii was able to translate the powerful sentiments of a recent Wall Street Journal tennis column into a visual representation of the sport’s unprecedented strength today. The piece not only captures the way so many people feel about the sport we cover every day, but also anchored our Upfront-presentation rollout during a time of critical network focus from within the advertising community. It was great working with them; they more than delivered.”
— Robyn Miller, SVP Marketing, Tennis Channel
“My experience with Oishii was positive. They were enthusiastic about the project, and delivered great ideas under a very tight deadline. I was thrilled with the end result, and with the entire collaboration!”
— Sara Coyne, Executive Producer, Authentic Entertainment
“Oishii uses technology on your stuff above and beyond what you see other agencies doing …. They’re really at the forefront in using … the latest technologies…. Oishii is a very creative agency, consistently pushing the boundaries of the latest technology.”
— Jason Trautwein, Senior Producer, NFL Network
“Oishii has an understanding…of my aesthetic, which is most critical to me. The execution was very professional, thorough and patient …. They are great collaborators.”
— Mark Pellington, Principal, Pellington Films
“The task in front of Oishii wasn’t small — they needed to craft a new look and feel to an established show. Like on many TV series, there are a lot of cooks in our kitchen, so a collaboration of this nature has many opportunities to go awry. Almost magically, Oishii navigated a creative, productive path to success and came through for us on time and on budget. Together with composer Joey Newman, the Oishii team helped give the show a major facelift. Kudos!”
— Jeff Weaver, Executive Producer, Authentic Entertainment
“Amazing job … it looked like a big budget commercial and it wasn’t, it was just beautiful.”
— Terry McCormick, Creative Director, Nicktoons
“Very positive experience, appreciated their flexibility and problem solving. Appreciated being able to work with rate. Never felt a lack of customer service. Very pleasant.”
— Mike Witting, Online editor/VFX editor/Compositor, Larry Levinson Productions
“A really pleasant and positive collaboration!”
— Lee Hunt, Principal, Lee Hunt
“Excellent creative agency, quick study in terms of brand objectives and issues, really approach it strategically … in understanding what the brand means to their business and audience.”
— Robyn Miller, SVP Marketing, Tennis Channel
Our VP, Kate Canada Obregon, recently wrote a guest blog post for The Agency Post sharing Five Tips for Making Your Office A Creative Space, but where did the idea for an open office floor plan come from?
In her latest article for The Agency Post, she discusses The Effects of an Open Office Floor Plan:
Here are some excerpts:
“…one of the office features we often mistakenly attribute to startups is the open office plan. We tend to equate this setup with the startup attitude of free-flowing space, an open atmosphere and equality of space. But for 60 years, the open office floorplan has been both the standard and ideal for office design. Mirroring economic changes since the 1950s and into the 1990s, architects have designed work environments for the booming “knowledge industries,” spaces where people create and produce ideas as part of their company bottom lines.
Symbolically speaking, people like to work in open office spaces, because they report feeling connected to the company’s organizational mission and to their fellow office mates. These spaces do well at creating “communities.” And while the research shows that intangible benefits are apparent, studies conducted by organizational psychologists on large corporations show mixed results on measures of productivity. Workers in open plan offices complain most often about noise, loss of privacy and constant distraction.
We cannot create without other people. We are social animals. Some philosophers and scientists argue that physical and sensorial evocative environments act like our scaffolding into the world, giving us humans opportunities to deepen our brain activity and expand into the world. When building an environment that supports and amplifies creativity, though, it’s important to keep in mind that the best solution usually isn’t an open floor plan.
Creative spaces require different setups for different mindsets: fun areas for unconscious processing; reflexive spaces where minimal thinking can go on, and reflective spaces wherein people must go beyond superficial thinking to find those kernels of creative thinking.
Humans innovate. We are wired and curious seekers. And when it comes to work, we are, it seems, inexorably driven to tinker and improve the patterns, people and processes. We can’t help but seek out the novel ways to create and produce our services and products. Alexis de Toqueville in the 18th Century wondered about the “American” temperament of industriousness, what he and many after him, referred to as a resolved determination to seek more and more value in everything.
Interconnecting with what was thought to be a superficial “seeking of value,” is the active pursuit of innovation. It’s no small task to step back from habits and mindsets of work and build better products or engineer services people feel they must have. Steve Jobs, heralded as the innovator archetype, embodies this philosophy and action, with his ambition and obsessive approach to product design.
But the way we frame Steve Jobs often overlooks his intellectual depth, passion and purpose. It’s an unconscious move, a mental shortcut really. It’s easier to evaluate successes backwards than it is to study the billions of people who almost succeed or fail any given year and to see what works.
Jobs’ many successes, the ones that matter to design thinkers, were his grit, systemic thinking, flexibility and originality. More than a leader of design-driven products, he drove businesses to understand the value designers bring to the bottom line and innovative company cultures. He taught us that design thinking is radical and cyclical. It seeks to outpace demand, and bring excitement to crowded and competitive markets. More than corporate value, thinkers like Jobs normalized the belief that designers were integral to business thinking.
There are plenty of books about Jobs, some good, but most unexceptional. I want to draw attention to a recently published book that isn’t about Jobs, but nonetheless carries his design-thinking legacy and places it firmly and realistically into our time.
The Rise of the DEO, Leadership By Design by Maria Guidice and Christopher Ireland is a how-to book that doesn’t promise you will become a design thinker — but you just might. By way of clear prose and case studies, the authors take you out of yourself and hold up a mirror of reality. Times are quickly changing; it’s no longer enough to think like Jobs. To stay relevant, firms need to find and retain talent who will work, experiment and work some more. Innovative firms are run with the help of innovative people who ask for help, make mistakes and do what scientists have done for centuries — laboriously use their minds to craft solutions. Take a step back and think harder and smarter for solutions. It’s the 10,000-hour rule with mind maps and directions.
So surround yourself with people who will push, challenge, instigate, and affirm (or not) your pursuit of becoming a design thinker.
Many of our colleagues recently gathered in London for the PromaxBDA Europe conference. One of the talks discussed provided some insight into new data around Millennials, specifically on their hopes, dreams and trust levels.
For us in the entertainment and branding spaces, Millennials are important. Their tastes, interests and desires will directly imprint and shape our creative efforts, process and work. Depending on how young or old you skew this group, there are any number of key and actionable insights for media and entertainment. Our job is to translate these values into tangible creative and experiences. We interpret them in order to inspire and connect with Millennials in particular — and audiences in general — in a genuine and meaningful way.
According to the last Pew Research, Millennials describe themselves as motivated by the values of individuality, authenticity, optimism and integrity. At the same time, however, this group has surprisingly little trust for people and society. A scant 19% of respondents said they trusted other people and governments. This is not often seen in this way nor explicitly mentioned as a trend we should worry about. I think we should at the very least think about this paradox, and turn it into an opportunity.
How can people have so little trust and at the same time describe themselves as generally optimistic? In Psychology there’s a term called cognitive dissonance. It is a situation where a person feels uncomfortable, stressed even, because they hold two contradictory values at the same time. I want to prod us creatives into a state of “dissonance” because I think it will, in the long run, make us think and work smarter.
We shouldn’t be so sanguine about Millennials’ distrust because we are, in our unique way, functioning as institutions just like any other social or political organization. We create within the social fabric, shaping and distributing stories, ideas and values, into content. Whether we’re experimenting with the latest ad tech, native advertising or app, thinking about and understanding our cultural role, and the way we create to savvy digital natives, gives us a chance to work more intelligently and differently.
Talk about disruption. Listening to young audiences and consumers, building their trust and earning their respect — now that’s creative that I want to be a part of.
My goal at SXSWi this year was to not only make it into the actual keynote presentations (which meant arriving early!), but to attend sessions that were outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to feel inspired in my everyday life and broaden my perspective both personally and professionally.
Well, I have to say that Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (host of FOX’s rebooted “Cosmos” show) handily — and emphatically — delivered. His Bill Cosby-like comedic chops, likeable personality, vast knowledge of science and uncanny ability to make the subject accessible to anyone — made me want to jump back into my grade school science class and learn all over again.
Tyson is, by far, one of the most engaging speakers I’ve ever come across in any conference, festival or event. And it was clear by the wild applause, hoots and hollers from the audience that they were just as captivated by him as I was.
Said Tyson: “I don’t want to hand out answers. When you explore, all those answers come for free.”
One of my favorite parts was when Tyson talked about how children perceive the world, and aren’t afraid to challenge or question the status quo. He shared a hilarious story about how he encouraged his daughter to take a skeptical view and test the myth of the Tooth Fairy. Rather than flat-out denying the childhood fantasy figure’s existence, he equipped his daughter to do experiments with her friends. What did they do? They put their teeth under their pillows without telling their parents!
My takeaway from Dr. Tyson’s keynote is to see the world through the lens of a child. Never suppress your curiosity. Test and try things out for yourself. Don’t just accept what others tell you as truth. Keeping an open mind and open heart will lead to many discoveries about yourself and the universe around you.
10 Neil deGrasse Tyson Quotes To Fuel Your Love Of Science
Courtesy of Mashable
1. “A scientist is just a kid who never grew up.”
2. “Science literacy is how much do you still wonder about the world around you. What is your state of curiosity?”
3. “You can’t just choose what is true and what isn’t.”
4. “All the nine-planet people out there, just get over it. It’s eight!”
5. “There’s so much to be impressed with in the universe. I don’t want you to be distracted by things in the universe that are not.”
6. “One reason we should go space: You know the dinosaurs would have gone there if they could have. Dinosaurs didn’t have opposable thumbs or a space program, though.”
7. “To be scientifically literate is to know when someone else is full of bologna sandwich.”
8. “The missing skepticism is the problem.”
9. “If we’re trying to go into the 21st century and be competitive, we can’t just believe we’ll be competitive.”
10. “I would encourage you to not become attached to the number of things. There’s no physics in the number of things.”
And a brilliant piece by Fredric Paul of Network World on how Dr. Tyson’s insights could apply to the world of enterprise technology and networking.
– Michele Lu Kumar, Principal of Priya PR
Design is not “gift wrapping,” but an integral part of any competitive business and strategic branding goal. Those of us in the entertainment space are fortunate because we do not have to relentlessly “prove” the power of our creative departments nor do we usually have to fight for the right to be a part of the decision-making process.
However, in many industries, design talent is siloed into marketing departments. Here, far downstream from other decision makers, the visual and content creative teams only get meaningfully involved in brand work after management decides to launch or operationalize a particular initiative. This is the “design gift wrapping” approach. Thus, the power of innovative creative thinking isn’t really leveraged pointedly into business decisions, market research or strategic planning.
In this post, I want to talk generally about the competitive advantages of design; what is often referred to as design thinking. Whether you make decisions about marketing budgets in broadcast cable departments, generate content for digital campaigns, or lead initiatives about how to best spend creative resources, thinking about the strategic purpose of design benefits you, your career and the company.
One way to do this is to think of creative as a strategy role. What does this mean? We’re referring to when we look at consulting firms that help corporate clients integrate solutions into their company organization — whether it’s servicing their end clients or streamlining technology developments. It could be many things, but it’s simplest to think about their role as improving performance in targeted areas of the company.
The changing market landscape has meant many companies have been scrambling to make these changes, but without paying high consultant fees. In fact, in a recent Harvard Business Review piece, the consulting industry is going through disruptive times, forcing it to change how it helps companies make change.
Why not help your organization make change from within?
Do Your Research. Spend 30 minutes a day doing research about your company’s product, services and reputation. Look for social science research measuring sentiment and observing trends. Read what non-biased sources say about the space your company works in. Ask yourself what your company should be doing in 5 and 10 years.
Go To Emerging Markets. You may not be able to go to the outskirts of the globe and open up shop, but you and your team can take on an untested and unfamiliar initiative. You will gain experience and test your skills in ways you can’t imagine. The experience could dramatically shift your perspective about your work, projects, department and company.
Model. Design thinking emerges when doing things. Depending on your particular role, use your skillset, be it visual or writing, to push yourselves along. A good way to do this is to schedule short blocks of time with your team or others and begin talking about the newest trends or ideas that are already out there. Talk about what works and what doesn’t. In these conversations, you will find moments that will pique your interest, and take shape into a future project.
– Kate Canada Obregon, VP of Oishii Creative
Productive and ceative offices are Generative. They inspire and allow people to think outside office patterns and processes. In this blog post, we’ve invited consultant and quantitative researcher Regitze Ladekarl to talk about something called “moral hazard” as an invisible barrier to collaboration and thinking creatively. Quite often, we work in groups and collaborate without realizing the invisible ways our individual behaviors can work against the benefits of teamwork.
Moral Hazard Revisited
Consider an elegant, lovable, yet hardened criminal like Danny Ocean; his past has finally caught up with him and he is sitting in a jail cell, waiting for the district attorney to come and make him a deal.
Unbeknownst to Danny, Rusty is sitting in the cell next door in the exact same situation.
The DA walks in – obviously a young lady in a pencil skirt – and lays out the land for our two merry fellows. She reveals that they are both in custody and offers the following:
Sings like a canary
Sings like a canary
Both get 2 years
Danny goes free
Rusty gets 3 years
Rusty goes free
Danny gets 3 years
Both get 1 year
In a true Hollywood movie, the guys would keep mum and after a mere year in prison, Julia Roberts would come pick them up, because in our heart of hearts, we know that is the right thing to do. Yet, in the real world the prisoners’ dilemma – as the scenario above is called – the manly men turn out to be pretty little birdies.
It doesn’t matter if the game is repeated or if the information about all the outcomes is shared or if they grew up in a hippie commune or watching Sesame Street or Bloomberg News, the prisoners always tell. In fact, it takes some pretty steep measures to get Danny and Rusty to cooperate with each other, like they will be doomed to play the game forever and squealing one time has lasting effects while cooperating is only rewarded in the immediate round of the game.
Why is that? Why is it that while most morally sound people understand the logic and can see that the best solution is to keep their big fat mouth shut and everyone will be better off, but in the situation will be self-serving and look as far as their own good?
The phenomenon is known as moral hazard and raises the point that if the greater good is not aligned with the good of the individual, we are all likely to only think about me, myself and I.
Moral hazard is popping up everywhere, using the last piece of toilet paper, not picking up after your dog – and that is just the bathroom department for starters.
Unfortunately, it is also very common in the workplace where lack of cooperation has devastating effects on productivity, costs and not in the least, employee content.
Yves Morieux describes how our current approach to complexity in businesses and workplaces decreases productivity and makes for disengaged, if not disillusioned employees, because we silo the efforts in perfectly isolated spaces. The individual cannot see and are not accountable for the effects of their work contribution, or even worse the incentives to individuals are detrimental to the business goals. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
The solution is, of course – as it is in all moral hazard situations – to align the good of the individual with the good of the company / workplace. If the best interest of the individual is the same as the best interest of the company, then the sky is the limit, because there will be cooperation, creativity, engagement and happiness – as well as rainbows and unicorns.
This is easier written than put into action, but a good place to start is to look at business processes as a series of small, but all different tasks undertaken by the same individual(s) rather than distinct functions undertaken by different individuals.
An example would be pancakes. The typical set up is to have one person responsible for the batter, another responsible for the griddle, a third for piling on the strawberries and whipped cream and a fourth for taking it to the customer at the table, each one only held accountable and being rewarded for their own task. If there instead were 4 people collaborating on taking the pancakes from ingredients to table, each of them being knowledgeable of all steps in the process, though maybe with specific focus areas, each of them being incentivized by customer satisfaction and held accountable for the ultimate pancake…then yum!
So begin making pancakes in jail.
Break down the specific functions, have end-to-end process accountability and align incentives with the greater good.
Ricki Ladekarl is quantitative analyst with a creative streak. Her background is in economics, statistical analysis and methodology. Her day job is chasing down the holy grail of analytical measures, the one number that encapsulates and crystalizes the truth about opportunity and risk. In her spare time she thinks and writes about human behavior, life choices and what makes us tick.
Our VP, Kate Canada Obregon, wrote a blog post on “Five Tips for Making Your Office a Creative Space,” which appeared in The Agency Post today.
Here are five elements that can contribute to making your space the type of generative office that supports and amplifies creativity:
1. Familiar People
Researchers have demonstrated that collaborative work environments create happier and more productive employees. J. Richard Hackman, one of the world’s leading researchers on organizational behavior, found group work, particularly a familiar group, to be more productive when compared to individuals who worked alone. When a familiar group is encouraged to share ideas, hear other perspectives and receive constructive feedback, they report greater satisfaction with their job, their peers and culture.
2. Collision Brainstorming
Writing in the New York Times, Greg Lindsay observes that successful tech firms know the benefits of people coming together for an impromptu brainstorm via happy accidents and aggressively seek what Google calls the “casual collisions” or Yahoo’s “serendipity” meetings. This is because research strongly suggests that structured group work has limits. In the new context of an informal chat, the brain has a chance to re-engage and renew a problem, and possibly come up with new approaches or ways of thinking.
3. Solitary Creativity
Most neuroscience studies on creativity and problem-solving demonstrate the powers of intermittent group work coupled with “incubation” or quiet time and solo work. This is where the lounge and reading areas and ping-pong tables that startups are famous for come in. After a group meeting, the brain needs some distraction and ambient activity to reassess a problem or create. Neuroscientists such as Rex Jung and others have studied the brain in “action,” and observed what is called fluid or dynamic activity in the brain during quiet times of relaxation and calm, which could yield high creative output benefits.
4. Tactile Engagement
If you consume lots of data everyday and need to recall information quickly, there’s new research showing that keeping information slows down our ability to remember and process. One powerful method for what is called “embedding” information is getting tactile at work. Embracing the old-school pen and pencil during a meeting, or taking marginalia in a book can code information into our brains in ways that author Clive Thompson suggests are deeper and more meaningful than on touchscreens. That’s why writable walls, movable whiteboards and active work sessions are excellent ways at getting the brain and body physically involved in learning and doing, fostering neuron activity in the brain.
5. Good Reading Materials
A well-stocked library in your office gives people places to relax between projects, but reading has other powerful cognitive benefits. Recently, researchers at Emory University observed changes in the executive functional part of brain in fiction readers. Participants in the study showed heightened neural activity in the part of the verbal and visual sections of the brain when reading. So, not only were subjects able to “imagine” a character, they were able to activate senses in their brains — deepening their awareness and imaginative capabilities.
See more at The Agency Post.
For 60 years, the open office floorplan has been both the standard and ideal for office design. Mirroring economic changes since the 1950s and into the 1990s, architects have designed work environments for the booming “knowledge industries,” spaces where people create and produce ideas as part of their company bottom lines.
Symbolically speaking, people like to work in open office spaces, because they report feeling connected to the company’s organizational mission and to their fellow office mates. These spaces do well at creating “communities.” And while the intangible benefits are apparent, studies conducted by organizational psychologists on large corporations show mixed results on the measures of productivity.
Workers in open offices complain most often about noise, loss of privacy and constant distraction. What open floorplans do really well for creative industries is provide two key components: Collisions and Quiet.
* Collisions or happy accidents among workers can happen anywhere from a meeting to lunch, coffee or a chance meet-up in the hallway. Researchers have shown that these collisions can be methods to generate fertile conversations and move along ideas previously discussed.
* Quiet is incubation time. Many problems or ideas people are tasked to bring to market require vast amounts of time. This is because the creative process has many stages, one of which is when ideas go into hiding, or into unconscious activity and emerges again in a new context; in a meeting, for example.
Kevin Johnson has said “Chance favors the well connected.” By that, we think he means the office that is open in connectivity, but also open to the processes required for real creativity and innovation.
We cannot create without other people. We are social animals. Some philosophers and scientists argue that physical and sensorial evocative environments act like our scaffolding into the world, giving us humans opportunities to deepen our brain activity and expand into the world.
What is your office experience like? Do you think it fosters collaboration and ideation?
Many people have asked us about the meaning behind the need to “think like a tourist” — a topic we’ve covered before on our blog. It sounds fun and slightly risky, but what is it? How does it help people come up with innovative solutions? Push along a brainstorming session? How does thinking help people think creatively?
“Thinking like a tourist” is what psychologists and scientists refer to as the attitude of perceptual innocence. Basically, it’s a learned method of thinking and ideation; of looking at ordinary objects around us, focusing on their details and then letting the mind wander gently to make connections, or even make remote or obscure links to the object. Once learned and practiced, it opens the door to playful thinking and experimentation, and can be brought back to any number of problems we are playing with on any given day.
Think of it this way: it’s like waking up in a new city. Walking out of your hotel room and tossing out the GPS. It’s taking in the smells, sights and sounds. Your senses see the ordinary sights in a new context. And in the process, you awaken new connections, such as finding the best corners to explore and visit.
There are any number of creativity techniques: divergent thinking, vertical thinking, and lateral ideation. Thinking about the ordinary in extraordinary ways opens up new possibilities, and takes us into the unknown.
Try this “tourist” technique today — and notice how differently your everyday world and situations look to you.
Inspired thinking starts with looking at the world differently. It can come from within ourselves, but it’s often more fun when it comes from artists — visual artists, such as Stanley Kubrick, for example. Kubrick invites us to see our daily lives by way of visual cues and patterns. It’s always a jolt to the system and at the same time, a hilarious (and enlightening) way to feel and experience.
Kubrick’s creative visionary mind and methods of thinking are akin to some of today’s tools:
• Boxes are a tangible version of Google and other search engines.
• His photography requests resemble Google maps.
• His late night memos resemble texts or tweets.
Just watch this documentary on Kubrick to see what we mean. And let us know what you think. How are you seeing the world in a different way?