Creativity today has to be SMART

With the rise of smart products it also makes sense for creativity itself to be smart.

Simply being creative for creativity’s sake may be fun and personally rewarding.

But in an applied setting it is often a waste of time and energy.

This is dumb creativity.

But what do we mean by SMART creativity?

Here is a my guide to help you and your team generate SMART creativity.

The word SMART provides a wonderful framework.

New ideas have to be simple to communicate and understand.

If you cannot explain an idea in a few minutes then you have to go back to the drawing board.


For creativity to be effective it has to move people.

Ideally it should move people to act.

Or it moves people emotionally e.g. they laugh, cry, empathise etc.

A litmus test of creativity is this — does this new idea or solution have the potential to move people?

To be successful creativity has to engage heads, hearts and actions.


Creativity also has to have an ‘aha’ factor.

It needs to surprise.

Creativity needs to be fresh, different or unexpected.

Most of all, it needs to engender in people — I wish I had thought of that.


For creativity to be effective it has to be both surprising but also real.

It should solve a real problem, opportunity or issue.

Creativity works best when it is grounded in a real insight.


Creativity needs to be tested with real users, customers or consumers.

Otherwise it is of latent or potential value.

With this testing often comes new learning and through an iterative process the creative output becomes more valuable.

SMART Creativity — Simple, Move, Aha, Real & Test

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