Watch a movie, read a book, or get served a memorable ad, and you’ll immediately appreciate the power of creativity.
The marketing and communications space has long been a hub of innovation and creative expression, driving culture and fuelling economic growth across the globe. At its core, the creativity we breed is about pushing boundaries, challenging conventions, and imagining new ways of seeing and being. It is an essential human trait that can inspire, transform, and connect us.
As the CEO of Publicis Africa, I have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented creatives in the industry. From writers and designers to strategists and producers, there is no denying that the creative sector in communications is a melting pot of the most innovative and dynamic minds this country has to offer.
This industry provides a platform for young creatives to not only showcase their skills and talents but express themselves in a way that they feel heard. However, as much as creative industries have become an essential contributor to the global economy, nurturing young talented creatives remains a daunting challenge.
The creative industry in South Africa also faces a significant challenge: talent drain. Despite being filled with talented and determined creatives, the country struggles to retain its young creative minds. The potential of these individuals is immense, and it is crucial for the industry to actively address this issue.
As an industry, we have to take active steps to fostering an environment built to unlock potential in young creatives. Based on my experience, here are a few active steps we must take to take identify, nurture, and fuel our creative talent.
Actively drive opportunities for learning and development
One of the best ways of unlocking the potential of young creatives is by providing them with opportunities to learn and grow. Young people need access to the right resources and tools that can help inspire them to develop their skills, knowledge, and experience.
These resources may include internships, mentorship programmes, workshops, and training programmes. There is a world of experience to draw from, but we have to make the time to channel it into our creative workforces.
Build networks and connections
Collaboration and relationship-building are crucial within the creative industry. From ideation to execution, networking is vital to producing cutting-edge projects. In order for young creatives to establish themselves, it’s important to cultivate connections with like-minded individuals and identify potential areas for growth.
Successful networking leads to both tangible and intangible benefits that can accelerate one’s professional development and career trajectory.
Encourage experimentation and creativity
One could argue that creativity is experimentation come to life. Young creatives must be encouraged to experiment with new ideas and explore their creativity.
There is no shortage. Famously creative soul, Maya Angelou once said: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”. Let your young creatives hone their craft by encouraging experimentation so they can discover their strengths, weaknesses, and passions.
The more they do it, the more they’ll know about themselves. This knowledge is essential for their career growth, enabling them to identify areas where they need to improve and build on their strengths.
Recognise and reward achievement
In a working world, no matter how inspiring the work can be, there is no work without worth. Young creatives must be motivated to stay the course and understand that their contribution must be acknowledged and celebrated. We must do this by recognising their achievements.
This can help them stay focused, committed, and motivated towards a shared goal – which is often the success of our clients. Recognition can come in many forms from awards to incentives to promotions. Just don’t forget to recognise where your talent is growing.
Marketing’s dynamic realm is fuelled by creativity. The potency is undeniable. Africa is filled with talented creatives determined to shatter boxes and upend conventions in all the right ways.
To see them fly, we foster an environment of learning through internships, mentorships, and workshops. Networks are key to professional evolution; encouragement and experimentation unlock a world of possibilities, revealing their strengths and passions.
Celebrating their triumphs motivates them to excel. Nurturing and fuelling the creativity of the next generation will drive innovation and foster extraordinary connections.
Koo Govender is the CEO of Publicis Groupe Africa. Govender is responsible for all the operations of Publicis Groupe in South Africa and across the continent including creative, media, PR and influencer, production, commerce, data and technology.