Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    21,216.15
    +3.76 (+0.02%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,544.90
    -4.88 (-0.11%)
     
  • DOW

    35,677.02
    +73.94 (+0.21%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.8091
    +0.0007 (+0.09%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    83.98
    +1.48 (+1.79%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    75,112.50
    -3,127.83 (-4.00%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,453.34
    -49.69 (-3.31%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,793.10
    +11.20 (+0.63%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,291.27
    -4.92 (-0.21%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6550
    -0.0210 (-1.25%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    15,090.20
    -125.50 (-0.82%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    15.43
    +0.42 (+2.80%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,204.55
    +14.25 (+0.20%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,804.85
    +96.27 (+0.34%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6942
    -0.0010 (-0.14%)
     

‘I feel the creativity that’s out in the world’: how a digital leader is energised by everything around him

·6 min read

As an A-level art and graphics student, Rob Pierre’s original career plan was to go down the creative route of computer animation and graphics and was set for a computer studies degree sponsored by IBM. Flunking his physics A-level meant the offer was withdrawn, so instead he took a job at Sunglass Hut in Gatwick airport, which sparked his interest in business, and where he went on to become European sales and operations director.

In 2005 he was ready to leave the world of employment so, armed with what he believed was the perfect balance of business experience and creative prowess, he co-founded Jellyfish. Today, Jellyfish is a digital partner to some of the world’s leading brands, including Google, Samsung, Uber, Nestlé, Orange, Netflix and Nike, and has grown to a 2,250-strong global agency team, with 40 offices worldwide, offering clients a full spectrum of digital marketing services. What Pierre believes is key to this success is the ability of the team to tap into their creative prowess.

I find it easy to remain creative when I’m under pressure. I think if your default state is to find solutions to problems or challenges, the more you feel under pressure, the more you will want to find a solution. And that’s what really induces your creative side. My expectation is that life is not going to go smoothly and that we’re going to be thrown curveballs. Life is random, and while you can influence what happens, you can’t dictate what happens. If that’s your expectation in the first place, being creative and always coming up with solutions comes naturally.

As a creative, you don’t fail; you just move forward. We’ve all heard the cliche, “fail fast”, but if you use information and pivot, when do you know whether you’ve failed? If you’re constantly pivoting to the information that you have, you don’t have time to fail; you’re just moving on and you’re learning. You test, analyse, refine, and you’re just making things happen. So, when people ask me about my biggest failures, I say I can’t notice them. Life is full of things that don’t go your way, but can you really define that as a failure? No.

When I’m tired and my energy is flagging, I tap into the energy of the people around me for inspiration. I am a clinical extrovert, and if I need energising I turn to the people around me. They are my source of energy and I’m never too tired to engage with a group of people. It’s not one single person, it’s literally everybody I engage with who inspires me.

I see things like arts and culture as an extension of my own creative work. I spend a lot of time visiting museums and art galleries with my creative director where we discuss pieces of art and sculptures. I also love entertainment, especially West End theatre, and I can relate to seeing how people perform and the creativity of how those shows are put together. I’m always looking for and feeling the creativity that’s out there in the world.

I find music and exercise help me get in the zone. One of my hobbies is learning to DJ, so I am getting more involved with music. Exercise also helps. My PA’s daughter runs virtual exercise classes at 7am every morning. Keeping physically fit, as well as having time to yourself, that 45 minutes where you’re exercising and focusing on what you’re doing, gets me into the zone.

I’m pretty good at ensuring that the digital world feeds my creativity rather than detracts from it. My solution is to be proactive and quite random in getting out there to start reading and looking at different things. As human beings, it’s important to be curious and always discovering new things. That’s what feeds your creativity, and helps you find new things to be passionate about in your life.

At Jellyfish we help our clients to leverage the inspirational power of Pinterest. We are helping companies to create a seamless journey, from that moment of inspiration and seeing something you really like, to finding more information on it and ultimately being able to purchase it.

Outside of work, Pinterest is great for inspiring my interests and passions. It allows me to garner information from the creativity side, what the art of the possible is, and what other people are doing. That could be anything from looking at dressing rooms when we were remodelling our house, to finding my favourite food. I miss Caribbean food. I lived there when I was young, and Pinterest allows me to salivate over pictures of all the wonderful food I remember from the West Indies. It’s a combination of a passionate interest just to see what’s out there and, more specifically, when I’m researching something and need some inspiration.

Related: ‘Being delightfully dyslexic helps me get creative’: the tech entrepreneur on her sources of inspiration

Following your own genuine passions, rather than what you think you should be interested in, is crucial to creativity. Being truly passionate about something is how you pioneer; it’s how trailblazers and innovators make a difference in the world. Every new creative trend is started by a person or a group of people being passionate about something.

Of the six creative types identified by Pinterest’s Inspiration Nation research, I would describe myself as a Conscious Go-getter. I genuinely believe that the sky’s the limit, and I’ve never been willing to sit back. I live for what’s new and what’s next, and I’m reimagining what’s possible for Jellyfish every single day. That outlook applies to every aspect of my life. We started Jellyfish in 2005, the same year that my daughter was born, and I have the same belief that she can be anything she wants to be, whether that’s an astronaut, a lawyer, or the prime minister.

The biggest challenge of my career has been genuinely embracing diversity and inclusion. I’m not talking about gender, sexuality or ethnic origin, I’m talking about people who don’t necessarily act the same way as you do. Most organisations want people that emulate how they think, and someone who doesn’t think or act the same way as you might be considered disruptive, or not a good cultural fit. I have to keep reminding myself that we are a group of very different people with different thoughts. By supporting people with the things they can’t necessarily perform to the best level, while trusting them and letting them have accountability for the bits they’re great at, we will have a diverse and inclusive organisation that knits everyone together.

To find out more about Pinterest’s diverse audience check out their Inspiration Nation study: business.pinterest.com/inspirationnation

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting