A competitive advantage for smart businesses Creatives as leaders

The ability to think creatively and to innovate rapidly is increasingly more important and more valuable. Business as usual is impossible when the entire market can shift in a day. “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing” no longer cuts it. Mediocrity kills.

With technology rapidly evolving and the world constantly changing, the ability to generate creative capital is an in-demand and differentiating skill set for workers. The capacity to imagine and express new possibilities; the insight and experimentation to bring new ideas to life; and out-of-the box thinking that solves problems will yield success for organizations that embrace the value of creativity.

Imagine a world where products are launched in months instead of years; a world where we’re not afraid to stop what isn’t working; a world where HR and legal aren’t just ticking the required boxes, but are driving change from within. Creative thinking can inspire each and every one of us to be receptive to all possibilities. From this vantage point, we are unfettered. We are not constrained by rules, expectations, and assumptions. We are not stuck postulating or wondering “what if…” With creative leadership comes courage. The courage to explore, experiment, and fail—and the courage to take action, make a difference, and win big.

The businesses that win will constantly challenge and reinvent themselves. They will be flexible. Always ready to blaze a new trail. They’ll approach every problem with fresh eyes and determination. They will expect, nurture, and reward creativity at all levels—and in all roles. Especially leadership roles. Businesses will work the way creative teams do today—curious, responsive, and productive.

What is the role of the creative?

To make things pretty? To make things pop? Zingy headlines? Flashy logos? The most dazzling icons you’ve ever seen? All sizzle and no substance? Surprise? Delight?

What is the power of our passion? How far can creative vision see?

Creatives are problem solvers

We’re in the business of not giving people what they ask for — because we realize they need so much more.

Ask for a brochure, a headline, or a web page and we’ll discover what you really need is a new strategic message. Ask for an icon and we’ll help you reimagine your identity. Ask for a face lift and you’ll get a gut renovation.

Why make more work for ourselves? Because we can’t help it—we’re always searching for the true problem to solve. Creatives are hard-wired to question everything. We like to rewrite old methods and point out new ways of going forward. We’re all about the details but our work isn’t over until we’ve perfected the full picture. We’re really good at making things nice,
but our true value lies in solving problems.

Creatives are flexible minded

The nature of creative work is to constantly pivot—between products and industries, one-offs and campaigns.

We’re always game to take on new challenges and new roles, even if it’s just for a day. One moment, we’re experts in HCM. The next, in Retail. We’re quick learners. Brilliant improvisers. We’re not constrained by an old way of doing things because we never knew “a way of doing things.” We see several possibilities—multiple storylines — because there is never just one path to executing an idea.

Creatives are leaders

Organizations that are ambitious and restless are bringing creative thinkers into their leadership teams.

Because we’re always on the hunt for what’s next

We love jumping into the action. Exploring. Experimenting. Taking (measured) risks.

Because we’re pros at executing — fast

Creative thinking facilitates the journey from a rough sketch on a whiteboard to a shipped, marketable product, from a word on a post-it note to a fully fleshed-out strategy.

Because we’re hungry

Designers don’t just move pixels. Developers don’t just write code. Writers don’t just craft headlines. All day, every day, we’re embracing our entire creative capacities to add value beyond the things we’re subscribed to do. We’re driven. We’re tenacious. And we’re ready to move mountains.

Vision & Mission

All the ways we’re doing it at H&L Digital

As creatives, we promote education, push design limits, and create a strategic vision with our partners

Thought leadership

We’re always active in our organization’s corporate communications and blog, we collaborate with external publications, and host creative leadership talks in our NYC headquarters. By continuously learning from outside our field we can bring in new insights to improve how we improve our solutions and differentiate our product experience in a field that has grown used to “the way things have been done before.”

Girl with iPad

Check out Infor on building a digital transformation strategy

Our innovation garage

Design is not confined to a whiteboard or pen, and paper, or even a screen. Our innovation garage allows us to consider different settings, space, and new ways we can engage our customers – in all industries. Only by empathizing with our users’ environment can we build products that support user behaviors — to make the engagement not only contextually relevant but delightful.

H&L Digital garage

Sounding Board

Sounding Board is an exercise in which creatives from different areas of the organization are paired at random every week to discuss their work. We believe that sharing individual projects with a wider audience keeps perspectives fresh, which is imperative to any business. Beyond one-off and immediate successes, Sounding Board gradually encourages a more unified consciousness across an entire organization. One of the ways we’ll “share our secret sauce” with Infor customers is by sending them Sounding Board kits so they too can facilitate collaboration among their teams.

Sounding board

Workshops and Hackathons

In order to create a strategic vision for our customers, we host interactive, strategic and creative workshops with key stakeholders to create a shared vision for the business and define what innovative tools can help get us there. We host design experience hackathons in our NYC HQ with a diverse group of participants to vision, ideate, design and validate ideas quickly so we can get to market faster with the right opportunity.

Key exercises that help us better understand the strategic vision include:

Define: What is the real problem we are trying to solve? Who are the users and what are their goals?

Inspire: Who is doing this really well? What can we learn from outside the industry?

Envision: What does the ‘Nirvana’ experience look like?

How: How will this be operationalized? Who do we need to engage to make this a reality (both technology and business operations)?