The B!G 5 Birthday
01 March 2022

The B!G 5 Birthday

We had a B!G birthday to celebrate last week as The B!G 5 Live was one year old! Over the past year we have interviewed, chatted, laughed and received some amazing advice from our B!G Mentors every week. Our B!G Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of business but the one thing they all have in common is they like a bit of fun and they have some wonderful experience to offer to our students.

We met up with Ronan Healy, service designer for a company called How Might We; Lauren Day, UX designer for Workday; Mick Torrans, designer manager in the Dock which is Accenture’s global centre for innovation; Aoife Flynn, art director for McCann Dublin, an advertising agency in Dublin and Neil O’Connell, director in the new hardware development group in Microsoft in Seattle, developing laptops, tablets, pens, headphones etc.

When asked what does creativity mean to them Neil said that for him it’s about imagination. Imagining things as they could be, as they are, arranging things in unfamiliar ways, reconfiguring, just playing around with different elements. For Aoife it’s more than whether you can paint or draw or anything like that. Thinking creatively is such a major and really important skill while Mick sees it as a way to trick his brain to not think the way he does when doing daily tasks.

In response to when they are the most creative all Mentors varied between first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee to at night on the couch when the kids were in bed and they had some time to think. The one thing that they all had in common was that other people helped to induce the creative spirit. Creativity and collaboration go hand in hand.

A really nice thing to note was that of the three Mentors who were asked what their biggest creative fail was, they all answered the same which is there is no such thing as a creative fail. It’s all about fLearning. For Neil it was an easy one as he gets paid to fail so for him it’s important. He put it in context by saying it’s like imagining a show without rehearsals, the rehearsals are kind of failures so we try and build in as many failures as possible before we actually go and do something. Fail fast is a mantra. For those who were asked about their biggest creative achievement, Aoife responded that for her it was getting to do something really good with her work. Her company works with a charity partner and for her it means a lot celebrating their big moments with them while for Lauren it was finishing her Master’s and all the creative challenges involved with doing that.

The final B!G question is where we get to see the shining nuggets of experience. The Mentors were asked what advice they would give to the students on the programme. Neil gave some fabulous worthy advice by saying that everyone should value their own way of thinking. Everybody thinks differently and the way you think is an absolutely valid way of thinking. It’s going to be useful; it’s going to be valuable and you’re going to be happy thinking that way.

“The team you are on now is a better team because you’re on it, fact”

Neil O'Connell

From working in advertising, Aoife was very focused on the brief. Read your brief, understand your brief and know your audience. Once you have ticked all these boxes you will start creating from a better place. Mick suggested that this is a good time to test the waters and see if a career in the creative industry might be for you while Lauren advised listening, listening and listening some more. When you’re stuck, surround yourself with people, ask questions and listen to the answers. Ronan was very on-brand by recommending fLearning, fail forward. Don’t be so critical about your work. Don’t be so critical about other people’s work, have fun because having fun and accepting other people’s ideas just opens up your brain, you’re more receptive to the ideas that ordinarily don’t happen.

It seems like there is a web of knowledge and guidance here and we all feel at The B!G Idea that our students are in very safe hands this year being mentored by such a sound bunch. Happy 1st birthday B!G 5 Live!

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