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Embracing Gucci’s Creative Restlessness

Marc Stigter and Sir Cary Cooper

Embracing Gucci’s Creative Restlessness 

Last week, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele announced that the $10 billion fashion brand will “abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence.” Instead of engaging in the traditional fashion-calendar of doing five shows, Michele said, we’ll go “season-less” and “meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms.”

For the House Gucci, the corona crisis has amplified the need for a “Creative Restlessness”, a concept worth embracing. Here are five steps how:

  1. Don’t defer transformative urgency

The corona crisis has intensified a sense of urgency amongst business leaders who’ve been busy ‘resetting’ their organisations. But the question still remains: Resetting to what? The Gucci example is a timely reminder for us not to be merely satisfied with resetting to a pre-corona status quo – or – with launching a protocol for ‘new ways of working’. For Gucci’s Michele, this crisis has amplified a transformative urgency, which your organisation can’t defer any longer.

  1. Abandon rituals you don’t want

“Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was”, Michele said. The ditching of the traditional fashion-calendar ritual must not have been easy. Why? Because “the more things change, the more they stay the same”, as observed by French journalist Alphonse Karr back in the 19th century. So, in line with Gucci’s courageous act, which ingrained rituals, routines and habits is your organisation ditching and dropping?

  1. Stand still and reconnect

Paradoxically, unlocking your creative restlessness means standing still. For Michele, it was during the lockdown in his flat in Rome where “I found the time I never had before to focus on my feelings; my work; my creativity; our common future; and the future of people I work with in the company”. In the midst of trying to manage the operational ramifications of this crisis, remember to stand still and allow the time and space for a creative way forward.

  1. Create a true reason-for-being

“Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing… I feel a need to renew a bond…away from the excessive performativity that today has no real raison d’etre”, Michele said. Let this crisis not go to waste. Let it be the impetus for the renewal of so many ‘vanilla’ and ‘me-too’ organisational purposes. Why not raise the emotiveness of your organisational purpose by creating a true reason-for-being…now?

  1. Build a new path; a new system; a new universe

Michelle finished by calling for a time that can bring forth a new Epiphany. This goes beyond ‘just’ building a new path for your organisation. It also involves reorganising the system or industry in which you work. He agreed that “it is a foundational act, audacious but necessary, that aims at building a new creative universe”. Is your organisation up for it too?

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