'Standing still is the new going backwards' - What Inspires Me, with Openreach's Scott Room

Openreach's director of brand and digital reveals what stirs his creative mind.

Data and insight

I always loved maths and science at school. I liked the idea that things were binary, you either got the answer right, or you got it wrong. As I progressed in my career, I enjoyed being creative, but was bugged by the saying “with art there is no right or wrong”. What I love about being creative in today’s world is that we’re able to marry the two things together – we can measure the performance of a campaign, a piece of user interface design, or media, understand what worked (or what didn’t) and, with digital technologies and techniques, employ whole teams that turn that data into insight.

My children

I’m staggered at how quickly my four-year-old is able to pick up new technology and integrate it into her life – she could almost use an iPad before she could walk. It reminds me how fast the pace of technological change is, and it will only keep on getting faster. This makes me remember that change is constant. Standing still is the new going backwards!

Having kids has also reminded me how important sustainability should be to everyone working in a creative role. We have a moral obligation to ensure that brands think about the future they are creating. I want to think that I’m going to leave the world in slightly better shape through my actions, both at home and at work, than when I joined it.

My commute

Coronavirus aside, I usually commute in from leafy Berkshire to London on the train. This is often my most productive and creative time of the day. Not only does it give me time to catch up on emails and action points away from the hustle and bustle of the office, it also gives me time to stop and think and watch the world around me. I often get inspiration from people-watching, seeing how they interact with others and by going deep into thought while the countryside wizzes past me at 120mph. My commute is my own time to form my own creative thinking bubble – I definitely wouldn’t be able to be as creative without it.

Simplicity

When you work in the creative space, you’ve always got to think about how you take a complex problem (I’m yet to be given an easy one!) and come up with a simple solution. I’m inspired when I see a piece of work that is really simple, like this from Spotify:

Or this from PG Tips:

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with complexity, but being able to cut through that to keep your message simple will help when it comes to bringing your creative to life.


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