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Fostering a Culture of Creativity

Julie Katz, Manager of Syndicated Research at Edgewell

— March 3, 2017 — Business
Edgewell Personal Care is a consumer products company that offers a wide range of household products and owns several popular brands. Trend Hunter recently spoke to the company's Manager of Syndicated Research, Julie Katz, to discuss the use of creativity in the brand's approach to production.

How does your team generate great ideas? Do you have certain rituals to make creativity happen?

We have an internal process called “insights to innovation” and we basically gather as much information as we can and go through a very strict internal process to do that. We also use all sorts of fun, hands-on art materials so Playdough and markers and post-it notes. Just getting very messy so that we can come up with something interesting.

Do you have specific rituals for resetting to be creative?

Personally I use a lot of post-it notes, I have inspiration posted around my office, I go for walks and I paint every day. I think the best thing to do to reset to be creative is to think about things in a way that you don’t often think about them. Do things a little differently. Walking counter clockwise where you normally take a clockwise route, taking the stairs where you normally take the elevator, just doing things off your beaten path is a way to get a different perspective. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things a little differently is what I do, looking to resources that I don’t normally look to.

What are some examples of things you can do to create a culture of innovation?

We meet monthly to talk about activities that each of us are doing that give some new ideas and breathe some life into our marketing plans. So I think that’s helpful, sharing ideas and sharing across different product lines, different segments, has been really helpful. I think in general being open to new ideas and not shooting them down right away is important. We’ve also had some inspirational speakers come to different meetings and that let’s people know we’re open to thinking a little differently in our work.

What do you think your industry will look like in the next 5-10 years?

I don't think there will be a lot of big players anymore, I think the world will be more chopped up and consumers will be receiving a lot more personalized attention. We’re in the personal care business and you might want a selection of sunscreen or feminine products that are more suited to you than what you get from your neighborhood drugstore.

What's the most unconventional thing you have done to get creative inspiration?

I started a project last year where I paint every day, and I think just being on Instagram and posting my work every day whether it’s good or bad helps. And it also helps to see what other people are putting out there. I think that helps in my personal and professional life, I used to use Twitter that way and it just got too cluttered. There should be a way to have a creative community where people are sharing ideas back and forth, in a way that doesn’t give away any secrets about their business.