Our Business Strategist & Artistic Director, Daniela Pavan, digs deep into the core of Creative Point-On’s business philosophy. In business, ROE has a specific meaning: Return Of Equity, which is a measure of financial performance. It is calculated by dividing net income by shareholders’ equity. ROE is considered the index that measures a corporation’s profitability in relation to stockholders’ equity. But how does ROE apply to the art & business of storytelling?
By Daniela Pavan
Creative Point-On’s businesslines gravitate all around one central concept: storytelling. So the question is, how can the ROE, the return of equity, be applied to a storytelling approach? Maybe interpreting the ROE from a different perspective. If we think about it in terms of Return of Emotions then we can more appropriately and efficiently find its application in the storytelling field.
Since the dawn of time, we have tried to make a sense of our romance with the unknown by expressing it through stories, from primitive graffiti to songs, poems, movies, podcasts, blogs, posts, till the stories on Instagram.
Storytelling pushes the message in the gears of modern communication and global innovation. Behind every artist, entrepreneur, brand, product, or institution, there’s always a story.
We live in a world where we are online almost 24/7, and at times we forget to value the importance of human relationships. Well, stories can help us stay emotionally connected to one another in the same way that they can help brands connect with their potential customers on an emotional level. Stories are indeed a powerful problem-solving tool. They build connections and transform perspectives. Through the conflicts and the challenges in a story, an audience can profoundly transform their point of view and become emotionally attached to the storyline material and to who narrates the story.
“Stories emphasize emotional values. That’s why if a brand, a company, or a talent articulate their storytelling well, they can effectively grow an affectionate audience base, which can therefore turn leads into long-lasting customers.“
Also, stories emphasize emotional values. That’s why if a brand, a company, or a talent articulate their storytelling well, they can effectively grow an affectionate audience base, which can therefore turn leads into long-lasting customers. Storytelling is, by definition, a way of reaching an audience that taps into their emotions, provokes empathy, and resonates deeply with their own personal story.
Whatever emotion a particular story triggers, it ignites a gut feeling. As humans, we’re prone to listen to those emotions and they often become the basis through which we decide to spread the word, to engage with a brand, to buy. This is why storytelling generates not just a return on investment but also a return on emotion.
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On the occasion of the launch event of the first book by Mauro Porcini – SVP & Chief Design Officer of Pepsico– our editor in chief Tommaso Cartia had the chance to converse with the entrepreneur sharing precious tips for the creatives and the innovators of tomorrow. The event was wonderfully hosted by journalist Francesca Di Matteo, Founder & CEO of the Our Voices broadcast and StrategicA Communication at the enchanting Pinko Boutique in Soho. Special attendees at the event were Mr. Fabrizio Di Michele, Consul General of Italy in NY, and the Director of ITA – Italian Trade Agency – Mr. Antonino Laspina.
By Tommaso Cartia
“This day for us is about rebirth,” exclaimed with pride and emotion Francesca Di Matteo presenting StrategicA Communication’s very first in-person event after one and a half-year of pandemic. And it was, truly, a day filled with trepidation, also for me getting dressed and happily ready to experience again the aliveness of a community getting together to share ideas and perspectives for the future, shaking hands and exchange those vivid glances, thirsty for life, and those smiles, that could reassure you, that perhaps, the worst has been left behind. Not even the violent tropical storm that flooded the NYC’s subway on that day, intimidated or tamed the urgency to be together of the more than 100 guests who bravely traversed Manhattan to be present at the event. And the occasion to listen to Mr. Porcini talk about creativity, innovation, and the future of our business models, was certainly, unmissable, for everybody and particularly for us of Creative Point-On who have been “starting up” our business venture not too long before the pandemic hit. How many times, during this still time of our lives and our economy, have we thought about the concept of starting up, of starting over, how many times during this interminably long year have we stumbled and started all over again?
“Creativity Is The Answer,” that’s the first thing that catches my attention when I’m introduced to Mauro Porcini for our interview, a sentence written in cubital, sparkling letters on his sweater. A sentence that resonates, profoundly, with the philosophy of our company. During the pandemic, Creative Point-On produced a web series entitled #CreativityWillSaveUs, an initiative born to support the artists’ community during the lockdown, and “creative” is the fundament of our name and business identity. It really feels like this encounter with Mr. Porcini should have happened somehow, sometime, and I’m very happy that it happened now, now that we all need, more than ever, to start-up and think about creative ways to take our next steps into the future.
“We need to be students of life and students for life”
I’ve never met Mr. Porcini in person, although of course I’ve been knowing him by his exceptional professional journey and I’ve been fascinated by his entrepreneurial story and rise to success. I think that any upcoming entrepreneur who is serious about his/her career today should study Mauro Porcini, and I’m confident that his book:“L’ETÀ DELL’ECCELLENZA – THE ERA OF EXCELLENCE”; will be that trusted companion in the development of any contemporary enterprise. I have a feeling that it will serve the same purpose to the future generations that Steve Job’s book served to Mauro Porcini when he was an upcoming entrepreneur himself.
What struck me about Mr. Porcini when we started talking was his kindness, his politeness, his flowing rhythm in responding to my questions, his poised elegance and those vivid eyes, thirsty for life, and that smile that can reassure you that, perhaps, the worst has been left behind.
“One should always feel curious and receptive, 24 hours a day.” Tells me, Mauro, when I ask him what kind of tips would he give to young entrepreneurs. “We need to understand the shades of trends and how they change. Some macro trends have been gone on for quite a while, the pandemic has accelerated them. For example, the health & wellness field, or the personability of brands, digitalization, sustainability, and many more. We need to understand this acceleration and what could be the unique point of view. Often the unique point of view is offered by technology. For example, in our field, food & beverage, we are now utilizing wearable technology that monitors your body and gives you tips on what you should eat or to make your beverages personable, based on your taste, but also your emotions and physiology.”
But technology per se is not sufficient, and it shouldn’t and it can’t be disjoint from the human factor: “This is what my book talks about. You can’t just commission a market research or go online and read stuff on social media or blogs, you need to be there, “on the road”, you need to be present and understand what it is happening. To rely just on the A.I. without the human factor and our ability to interpret and decode what we read in the data, it’s a limit.”
“To rely just on the A.I. without the human factor and our ability to interpret and decode what we read in the data, it’s a limit.”
And for Mauro Porcini, “Creativity Is The Answer” to this decoding. “If you don’t work on yourself, on your education, on your training, if you don’t nurture your natural talent you will not get anywhere. In my book, I talk about the inventor of the IQ test who says that people who have been properly educated, formed, who study a lot, can even increase and surpass the ones who have a hereditary IQ higher than them.”
A native of Gallarate, a city and comune of Alto Milanese, close to Milan, Mauro Porcini has a strong humanistic and classical formation, which is the quintessential and most distinctive trait of the Italian Renaissance culture. That educational foundation has been for Porcini an inexhaustible resource of inspiration but also a model, a way of living, a modus operandi.
“We need to be students of life and students for life,” is, in fact, the motto that he coined and it is one of the fil rouges of the book: “We need to be students of our life and the life around us, we need to analyze the past and attempt to decipher the present. Curiosity, humility, and kindness are the keys to be truly successful.”
These are some of the traits of the so-called “unicorns”, a term with which Porcini metaphorically identifies the innovators of tomorrow. “Many make the mistake to think that once they achieved some sort of success, they know everything and they are done learning. I see this as a sign of weakness, because you fear that if you don’t prove to yourself and the people around you that you know everything, you lose credibility. On the contrary, I believe that strong people, who have great confidence in themselves, are not afraid to ask things, to a collaborator, to a child, to the people in the streets. When you start asking questions nurturing your knowledge every day, your business will naturally grow stronger. We should be, indeed, students, for life.”
Waiting for Mauro Porcini’s book to be soon released in English, entrepreneurs of all ages will now have in their hands another essential book to treasure in their “students for life and students of life library” to co-create all together this new era of excellence.
ON-Business. “Leadership must come from the heart and not from the mind.” Pascale de Senarclens-Hargous
By Guila-Clara Kessous, PhD.
“The whole ambition of positive leadership rests on the ability of the leader to question himself. To work to obtain the help of others without resorting to force or authority, to cultivate a sincere desire to respect the other and to act in his interest are the challenges of the positive leader. But how does one achieve it? How do we arrive at this “supreme excellence” that Sun Tzu described as a “win without fighting” in The Art of War? We must remember this key sentence from Pascale de Senarclens-Hargous: “Leadership must come from the heart and not from the mind.” Or more exactly, positive leadership comes by daring to ask the following question based on genuine humility: “Who wants me as a leader?” It implies a permanent questioning of the leader, not with respect to the excellence of the information he transmits, but of his ability to communicate to the other in a deep desire to be understood and generate a positive impact. Too many leaders continue to think that their business expertise is enough to exercise their leadership role. This is wrong. It is the ability to gather positively, to “excite”, to “federate” its employees that will make the difference in a world where the selection of applications becomes more and more competitive. Finally, to paraphrase this metaphor ofNative American wisdom, we must admit that we all have two leaders in us. The first that represents serenity, love, and kindness. The second who cultivates fear, greed, and hatred. And remember that whoever wins is the one we feed!”
About Guila-Clara Kessous
Guila-Clara Kessous, PhD. is a research professor, a coach, and a UNESCOArtist for Peace. Recipient of a doctorate under Elie Wiesel’s direction, she is using theatrical techniques to help suffering populations (survivors of genocide and human rights violations) better express themselves and have a stronger impact on new generations. She is also certified in positive psychology by Harvard University Professor Tal Ben Shahar and accompanies people to achieve stronger resilience in times of crisis. She deals with issues of positive leadership, crisis communication, and managerial posture using theatrical techniques and role-playing. Following the coaching of suffering populations, she accompanies personalities, executive committees, senior executives, and managers in crisis contexts in France and abroad. Today, she is working with healthcare personnel, ranging from executives to nurses, to provide coaching and counseling to those serving at the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.
For our ON-Business column, our Business Innovation Strategist and Artistic Director Daniela Pavan distills tips on creativity and success in times of COVID-19.
For years people in creative roles were kind of left out of serious business conversations, which instead used to take place only among the upper management in boardrooms. More recently, it looks like Creativity is knocking at the door of those rooms and has gained the right to sit at the decision-making tables as a driver of innovation. The creative spark that used to be just an aesthetic abstraction and somehow light and breezy concept, is now an important leadership quality that is dramatically transforming the way we do business.
By Daniela Pavan
The challenging scenario created by the pandemic emergency is giving creativity an even more crucial role in our lives. We’ve been through so many changes during the past months: we changed the way we work, the way we interact with each other, the way we shop. Change looks always scary, and facing change can throw us in a state of chaos. In times of crisis like these, who should we turn to, and learn from? My answer is: from creative minds, from artists. You may remember Darwin’s evolution theory about “the survival of the fittest”. It’s not the strongest or the smartest one who survives but the one who can adapt more quickly to change and to new contexts. The ability to adapt to change combined with resilience (the quality of recovering quickly from failure and adversity, and using the opportunity for your personal development,) seems to be the best match to navigate this unprecedented scenario. A set of skills that are part of artists and creatives’ natural attitude.
The Creative Pois-On #CreativityWillSaveUs video and podcast serieswants to demonstrate this exactly. We started the project to give voice to prominent figures from the world of art, culture, and entertainment during the COVID-19 emergency, inviting them to come together to reflect on the central value that art brings to humanity during the harsh quarantine times. We have been blessed by so many great contributions from artists from all over the world: 50+ artists for 10 episodes plus a special one celebrating Pride Day. Following these artists and watching them from a privileged point of view, we realized that even between their differences in terms of disciplines and artistic attitudes, they all have two fundemantal traits in common: resilience and adaptability. In fact, they all managed to keep their creative spark alive and produce arts against all of the odds. Even the performing artists who have seen their venues abruptly shut down, basically overnight.
So now the question is, how can we learn to be ourselves, as resilient and flexible? Here are some of the reflections that our series #CreativityWillSaveUs inspired me:
1 Change the narrative: when something bad or unpredictable happens, many of us spend a lot of time in a “rumination mood”, reliving the event over and over in our heads. This way we don’t allow ourselves to move forward. What I learned from our artists is the importance and the courage to change a story by building a new one. How? By writing, singing, playing music, painting, acting, there are infinite creative ways that we could all explore. The goal is to be brave enough to face our deepest thoughts and feelings, and not to necessarily produce a memoir-like masterpiece, courage as a first step is already a big accomplishment. And precisely about this topic, I found out that there is a study from 1988 that demonstrates how a sample of people who embarked in an Expressive Writing program for four days was healthier six weeks later and happier up to three months later if compared to some others whose task was to write about some more random topics. This is valid, in my opinion, for any form of art because it forces us to deeply analyze each one of our ideas and allows us to see things from new perspectives. I personally enjoy changing my narratives through acting and dancing, because they both allow me to explore the story from different angles.
2 Practice Meditation: you may already know that usually, our most painful thoughts revolve around our past and our future. We may regret things that went wrong or we are anxious about the things that will happen or not happen to us. Practicing mindfulness and meditation keeps us centered and concentrated on the present. being, the now. You may think that our main concerns are attached to the present time we are living. You might have this sensation, even though really, our lives are made of a series of circumstances that often we can’t control. Therefore meditation can help us stay focused on what we can control, accept what we can’t control and think more clearly about our next steps. The past months have been very painful for me as well, on a personal level. I want to suggest a practice that I like to do: mindful breathing. I usually get very anxious because I am always projecting my thoughts into the future of what might happen. This exercise can be done for 5 or 7 minutes a day, or every time you feel under stress. Find a comfortable position. You can be seated on a chair or on the floor, on a cushion. Keep your back upright, but not too tight, with your hands rested comfortably. Allow yourself to relax and become aware of your body seated, the sensations that it experiences, the connection with the floor or the chair. Remove any tightness or tension. Simply breathe. Feel the natural flow of breath, while inhaling and exhaling. Notice how you feel while you breathe. See if you can feel the sensations of your breath, one breath at a time. Now as you do this, your mind may start to wander and think about different things. It’s very natural, so no worries. When this happens, gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing.
3 Find your Ikigai.Ikigaiis a Japanese word that means purpose in life. We can say that Ikigai is the secret ingredient for happiness. Ikigai is about finding fulfillment, happiness, and balance in life. Many of us think that our job, family, and passions are different solos, like separate aspects of life. The Ikigai philosophy instead puts the accent on a fundamental truth: nothing in life is a solo… but everything is connected… as we always say here atCreative Pois-On. So yes, according to the Ikigai, it is possible to be true to what you love, live a fulfilled life, and make a positive impact on the life of others. So let’s dive in, what’s the definition of Ikigai. The Ikigai is the intersection between what you love, what the world needs, what you can get paid for, and what you are good at. Take a few minutes to write down some keywords, concepts, and ideas that come up to your mind for each of the four categories above and for overlapping areas. Think about how these elements may relate to each other. And then, leave space in your mind to whatever element, word, category, may naturally emerge by bringing these four elements together. So when you have this centerpiece clear in your mind found it, think about what is the first very simple step you can immediately take, and that it could be a practical expression of this centerpiece, which is your Ikigai. Are you curious to try? Artists, creative minds as well as successful businessmen all over the world, have in common the fact that they have found their Ikigai, that they are crystal clear about their purpose in life. That is what keeps them motivated, resilient but also flexible and perseverant.
Now it’s up to you. Ready to take your first step?
Learn more about Creative Pois-On Business Services HERE.
About Daniela Pavan
THE STORYTELLER WHO CONNECTS THE DOTS OF CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, AND BUSINESS
Born and raised in Italy, Daniela Pavan is now based in NYC. This is one of the reasons why she is blessed with both Italian artistic passion and NYC’s unique edge. With 20 years of experience working in the world of digital, design and communication with big companies, agencies as well as small start-ups, Daniela has also a strong collaboration with the University of Venice (Italy) where she won a grant for a research focused on understanding if and how creativity and design can be drivers for innovation. Co-Founder, Artistic Director, Creativity Curator, and Business Mind of Creative Pois-On. She is also our resident “bridge builder” as she is fluent in both business and creativity! Our creatives would be lost without her! Follow her Creative Bridge episodes on the Creative Pois-On Podcast.
Apparently, dancing and business are two very unrelated topics. But, as you know, our goal here at Creative Pois-On is to dismiss the misconception that creativity belongs exclusively to those who work in artistic fields. Listen to this episode to explore more about this topic with our Artistic Director Daniela Pavan and our Special Host of the month of DANCEmber, Actress Pooya Mohseni.
Let’s take for example the book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, by Ballet ChoreographerTwyla Tharp. In that book she describes creativity as “the product of preparation and effort,” and she continues by saying that “it’s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it.” It seems that people in creative fields work in a sort of continuous cycle of inquiry and action that identifies a goal, to then design and create new ways to reach that goal.
A theater director does this for actors, a choreographer with dancers, but if we transfer this mindset in an office this is also what project managers do for example while leading their team to build and market new products. Also, i is very interesting the point of view of dancer and manager Elyssa Dole who, in an article published a few weeks ago, wrote that: “the creative process also includes logistics of execution and a way to value and assess what’s in front of you. Maybe that’s why ballet choreographer George Balanchine compared his work to that of a carpenter.”
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