Philippe Meunier’s 10 tips for creativity

For the 2020 Ellen MacArthur Foundation Summit, our very own Co-Founder and CCO Philippe Meunier shared his ideas on circular design. His approach to creativity is universal and backed by his 30 years in the industry creating work that matters.


Here are his 10 tips for creativity:


01 — Better questions
Better questions lead to better creative answers. Make sure to ask a ton of questions at the beginning of a project to narrow down the real problem or essence of what needs to be solved. Make it simple, write it down, come back to it. Our brains will thank us for it.


02 — Purpose
Why are we doing this? What do we want to achieve? Making money isn’t enough anymore. It’s about so much more than buying a product – it’s about buying into a value that matches our own. By identifying a very specific purpose right off the bat, a community is built – one that people will want to be a part of.


03 — Comfort is a cozy enemy
Companies can do well by doing the same things over and over again, but that doesn’t mean it will always work – far from it. Pushing ourselves outside of our cozy comfort zones will create leaders that are primed for the future. Take a chance, go outside, try new things. Do it before there’s no other way out.


04 — Fear
Fear is probably the thing that grows the quickest around new ideas. Fear and creativity go hand in hand. It’s something that always has to be managed because if it’s left alone, it can paralyze a company. It’s a leader’s responsibility to remove the fear, embrace the risk, and let everyone know it’s OK.


05 — Doubt
Doubt is actually a good thing. Any time you are in doubt, you are actually making your project or idea better. By constantly pivoting and questioning it, it’s being strengthened. Never stop doubting, because it means that the hunt for answers and solutions is always on.


06 — Speed
Keeping a good pace on a project is crucial. Don’t aim for perfection because the faster it goes, the quicker the learnings come. The faster people brainstorm, the faster they try, the faster they test, and the quicker they will get there.


07 — Look the other way
Hitting the wall on a project or idea isn’t always a bad thing. Taking the opportunity to stop and look the other way might uncover something unexpected. So many brands and consumer products go in the same direction, but when someone goes the other way, it really pays off.


08 — Generosity
Sharing ideas is key. Even if it is tempting to keep them locked up, it stunts their growth. And worst of all, the opportunity is missed to make them even better. You never know if someone from a completely different background with different experiences can bring a whole new perspective to an idea. Share it and invite others to work on it.


09 — Little flowers
Creative types are like different species in a flower garden, and creative leaders are the protectors of these precious little flowers, nurturing them, caring for them and helping them bloom. It is too easy to crush a delicate idea. Taking the time to let an idea grow from a little flower to a fruit might just be the thing the world needs in that moment.


10 — Fun
We can move mountains with fun and love. Every new project can start out heavy and stressful but when people are having fun throughout the process, they put more time, energy and heart into it. Magic happens by making things fun and having people play in their work.


That’s a wrap!