Written by Rob Humphries

Love a Little More

Love.

It’s a powerful word isn’t it?

It’s far easier to say we hate something than it is to commit yourself to loving something. We reserve love for the higher most of emotions yet it seems we’re possibly in love with more things than we credit ourselves for.

So when I was tasked with being the Ambassador of ‘Lurve’ I immediately thought it was some kind of in-joke. Especially as I can be perhaps one of the less, outwardly emotional people I know, never wearing my heart on my sleeve and keeping a stiff upper lip and all that. And when I started my research, there really wasn’t a lot of conversation around the subject matter of love in a creative industry environment. So I started at the very beginning.

What is love?

Dictionary.com puts the definition as:

“to have a great attachment to and affection for (something)”
“to have passionate desire, longing, and feelings for (something)”
“to like or desire (to do something) very much”

Well, that’s all fine and dandy isn’t? Well yes and err… no.

Yes, because I can relate to all those things when I think about my family, friends, mountain biking, design, music, flapjacks. But no, because I have a great attachment to my birthplace of Bletchley but I, and probably among many others, certainly don’t love it.

Therefore, looking again at those definitions, the one point I believe is missing is the investment and dedication of time. You only begin to love something because there has been time to grow the relationship and develop that feeling of love.

In the case of Bletchley, I certainly don’t love it as my interest and investment; it is purely nostalgia – and as a matter of fact, the ‘investment’ only lasted the first seven days of my life. Sorry Bletchley.

With this addition of the element of ‘investment’, everything started fitting into place when addressing love within the creative sector.

Steve Ballmer is infamous for his highly passionate presentations and, forgetting the large salary he was probably enjoying, he was actually very passionate and very much in love with Microsoft. It is clear he’s spent many, many years ensuring his investment of time was well spent.

So, what has love got to do with being a creative agency?

According to research by Forster, J., Epstude, Kai, & Ozelsel, A.:

‘Love enhances global processing and creative thinking…’ and ‘Romantic love, they note, “usually involves a long-term goal or desire of staying together…”’

Well that kind of makes sense – by being in love, building the strength of relationship and investing our time into something, we gain a better understanding and therefore become more creative.

That stronger understanding can ultimately allow us to formulate more powerful ideas that will possibly better meet clients’ needs, while also fulfilling our own creative desires.

With these ‘loved-fuelled’ stronger ideas, others may perceive us as more honest and trustworthy creative individuals. This is crucial when trying to win a new client or convince the team that there is a better way. The more you invest, the more others will invest with you.

But a gushy outpouring of love just isn’t enough. Love needs to be something that is encouraged and promoted among peers and clients. Increasing positivity through feedback or simple token gestures can give them an ego boost. Doing so at the right time can turn a good project into a great one.

So what does this mean if we’re not in love with a project? Do we carry on or do we stop? I think it’s fair to say that if we reach and recognise this particular junction, it’s time to reflect, to make changes and decide which path is the next. Can we carry on and fall in love with it all again or is all hope lost?

So what can we learn from all of this?

Love can make us stronger and more efficient and better. It will push us in directions we may not normally go and to make us take difficult decisions. We need to consciously invest ourselves into each project, allowing us to reveal our full potential, or in some cases, our misadventures.

Ultimately, by allowing ourselves to love more, we become less creatively stagnant – and more often than not: masters of what we do.

So, go on, love a little more and great things may just happen.