Not that long ago, and not so far from here, five-team members were racking their brains to find a universal formula for facing the challenge posed by the most sophisticated engine that rules the Film Industry: the Audience.  Warning: this is not a tale; it is a constant journey.

We live in a complex world, where problems we face are multifaceted, changing and innately human. How to address all the big questions that beset the film industry? How to stay loyal to the audience without betraying the content? What forces drive a spectator to sit for 93 minutes in a dark room?  For us, design thinking offers an approach for addressing these and other big questions.

There is no single definition for design thinking. You will find a few that draft it as an idea, a strategy, a method, a way of seeing the world. In The Film Agency, Design Thinking uses a set of tools to disrupt. A time to think out of the box. A safe space to share, to ask and dig deeply into the problems raised (getting your hands dirty in the process!) by using creative activities to foster collaboration and sort out problems in human-centred ways. By putting Audience in the centre, we adopt the “beginner’s mind” approach, with the intention of remaining open and curious, assuming nothing and seeing ambiguity as an opportunity. In the end, Design Thinking is about empathy, and empathy means connection. And for better or for worse, humans are the only “device” that genuinely knows how to build relations.

In embracing Design Thinking we have developed our own system: the TFA Storms. By using different tools, we encourage the flow of ideas, mixing our fields of expertise in film industry, advertisement, user experience, design, digital content and -the most valuable knowledge a marketer can use- as a consumer.

Design Thinking brought into and taken on board at The Film Agency workflow by Celia Fumanal, our Innovation Director, when she joined our company as Account Manager and did a master’s degree in User Experience and Service Design. Driven by the innovative spirit and loudly voicing the Design Thinking motto of “stay-curious-stay-open-and-never-say-no” the rest of the team embraced the concept. From that moment onwards, the TFA storms have been an instrumental empowerment creative tool within our team. Besides using them internally, we are also expanding their use through EAVE Workshops and EAVE IMPACT THINK TANK.

Here are 5 mottos throw out before starting a divergence-thinking session:

1. This is an inspiring journey. It might be rough and bumpy… Please fasten your seatbelt and enjoy every jolt along the way.

2. There is no right or wrong. Keep the amateurish spirit: dream up wild ideas, take time to think and test, and be willing to fail (early and often).

3. Embrace the most rhapsodic part of yourself: empathy, optimism, iteration, creativity, and ambiguity. But keep close to your critical voice (you will not use it in a first session so it will kill the creativity. But you will need it when the right time comes.)

4. Your ideas are not more valuable than anyone else’s. For a few hours, nobody cares about your CVs, your certificates or your awards. Don’t speak from the depth of your expertise; rather, just share the wealth of your experience. Right now, the most precious ideas and opinions come from just people.

5. Never kill ideas. Don’t say “NO” when you disagree but think about how you can add or improve an idea.


Stay tuned for more Design Thinking Posts we are currently putting together!

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