Nelson has one main focus in his CREATIVE LEADERSHIP, CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE: giving leaders in organizations practical and relevant skills to manage creativity and develop highly creative cultures for the highest levels of innovation. Through his SPEAKING, TRAINING, FACILITATING, CONSULTING and MENTORING SERVICES, Nelson has been able to help senior executives lead their organizations, teams and cultures towards landmark innovation and world-class creative excellence.
Nelson knows that when you build creative leadership, develop a creative culture and spark individual creativity, you have what you need to grow and lead a highly creative company that can blow their customers’ minds every day. Below are some specific examples of how Nelson has contributed to the long-term success of big brands, corporations, associations and government divisions of different sizes all over the globe.
SPEAKING CASE STUDY #1
Mobilizing Entrepreneurs to Embrace Creativity – The opening keynote at a national Business Development Summit
A national business development corporation was holding its annual Entrepreneurial Summit. Over 300 of their clients and senior managers were expected to attend. The organization was seeking an opening keynote speaker for their Summit who could create some excitement and energy around the future of Entrepreneurship, but also give senior executives practical tools to help them boost profitability and growth.
Nelson met with members of the management team and Executive Director to understand their desired and intended outcome for the event. He developed a customized keynote entitled “How Creative Connections Inspire Success” featuring some of the messages and insights the organization wanted to communicate. Nelson delivered the keynote with his unique stage presence, charm and dynamic charisma ensuring the audience was engaged and entertained.
As a result of Nelson’s keynote, the atmosphere for the Summit launched on a high-energy and inspiring note. Senior management commented that the leaders in the audience left with concrete creativity and innovation strategies they could take back to their companies to improve profitability and growth. Later, the Executive Director emailed Nelson: “Thank you for being our keynote speaker and sharing your experiences and inspiring other entrepreneurs. The entire audience was extremely impressed with your keynote presentation, and your high quality of delivery demonstrated you did your research and were very well-prepared. Your passionate and enthusiastic style kept us entertained while imparting high quality insights.”
SPEAKING CASE STUDY #2
Growing Inspirational and Collaborative Leadership skills – the opening keynote at an International Service Organization’s Regional Meeting
A regional association was looking for an upbeat keynote to energize their annual meeting. The organization focuses on bringing together business and professional leaders in order to promote high ethical standards in leadership and help build leadership around the world. The planning team wanted a message that was not only inspirational and uplifting but which also aligned and celebrated their own association’s vision and mission.
After meeting with executive leadership at the association to discuss the event, Nelson took the main strategies from one of his most successful keynotes “The Creative Storm: The New Role of Leadership – How To Become A Stormin’ Norman” and customized it to fit the theme and mission of the organization. Using success stories, ideas and management principles from his own creative leadership track record, Nelson taught participants the two most important qualities of a Creative Leader: humility and the ability to admit error. With his powerful stage presence and bold and dramatic belief in the power of creativity and creative leadership, Nelson engaged and entertained his audience.
As the management team had hoped, Nelson’s keynote brought participants to their feet for a standing ovation, but also inspired much Q&A. The allotted time ran out with participants still having more questions about Nelson’s fresh perspective on leadership.
TRAINING CASE STUDY #1
Maximizing Leadership, Team & Creative Culture Performance – Creativity and Innovation skills In-house training for a giant global creative agency
A large multinational international advertising agency (part of the largest advertising agency holding companies) was seeking to get to the next level creatively and develop more world-class creativity skills in its leaders and employees – and build a more dynamic and unstoppable creative culture. Many of the younger account managers, media directors, copywriters, art directors, production artists, designers, and creative directors were self made – meaning they learned their trade while doing it, and had not received any specific training on creative process and unleashing and managing creativity. World-class creative excellence and innovation was inconsistent and low creative achievement was a problem. Employees weren’t working well together and they seemed burnt out. Creative teams would get stuck often and were taking too long to discover breakthrough ideas. They seemed to be just flying by the eat of their pants with no process or techniques, so the team culture was rough and not positive. The desired goal: ramp up creative excellence to keep the team’s energy fired up so they never lose their mojo. They needed an inspirational kick-in-the-butt!
Based on a needs analysis, Nelson established learning objectives and designed a learning program for the agency. “The Creative Storm” Executive Seminar was customized and delivered over two days with the entire organization taking part. Nelson’s design and delivery focused on integrating his three core forces of creativity (creative leadership, creative culture and individual creativity) into a two-day executive immersion program. He focused on delivering actionable creative leadership, creative culture and individual creativity strategies and tactics to drive maximum team and organizational success.
Formal evaluations and anecdotal evidence showed that there was a marked increase in the organization’s creative product and output and in the quality and quantity of creative breakthroughs. Senior management noted that team relationships and interactions improved, with leadership buy-in to a more inspirational and collaborative creative culture – a “group brain” as some called it. The company was able to realize a sizeable positive impact to securing revenues, and gather numerous anecdotal client success stories demonstrating increased levels of innovation in creative strategies and concepts presented to clients. Here is what the President had to say – “I admit the honor of hosting Mr. Cabral at our offices, where he enraptured the staff with his winning formula for unlocking the hidden creative treasures within.”
TRAINING CASE STUDY #2
Teaching Creative Leaders & Teams How To Boost Creativity and Build More Productive Working Relationships – Leadership and Creativity training for a global film studio and entertainment production house
A global TV, Film and video production studio was seeking to build up creative excellence in their organization and the innovation development capabilities of their teams. The Executive Producers highlighted the concern that the work and content their company created and produced was good, but they wanted it to be better and world-class. The needed help getting to the next level creatively and needed a push to get there – a necessary creative kick. They also wanted to be more competitive against other film production houses, when it came to presenting more high quality, world-class ideas in their “pitches”. The organization had been so focused on “production” and business development in previous years, and as a result, people and product development had not been a high priority.
The Executive Producers now wanted to equip their filmmakers, editors, directors, producers and production teams with the tools they needed to be fast idea generators and master collaborators, becoming frighteningly efficient and productive as hell. They needed their teams to produce a bigger catch of valuable ideas, so they could “raise their game” when it came to producing world-class, breakthrough innovative content people talk about and love. They also wanted some help integrating and building a more creative culture, which would allow a brilliant “group brain” to develop – a “Creative Storm”. They wanted Nelson’s help to give their team a creative boost and motivate their staff to greater performance and productivity. And in the process, develop and create a more positive working environment and increase individual creative potential.
Nelson’s first step was to understand what the film studio wanted to accomplish as an organization, and then to help them move forward in order to achieve their goals. He first held an initial telephone meeting with the studio’s CEO and Executive Producer and two senior Producers in order to figure out what the current issues were, learn more about their working culture, and the desired outcomes for this one-day executive retreat. As a result, he was able to design an effective program that would align with the exact challenges in the Studio.
Nelson delivered a program that used recognized training methods to guarantee not only knowledge transfer but retention. He wanted to provide the perfect mix of creativity techniques and learning activities to influence filmmakers at all levels to identify ways to become more creative. So he created customized activities and exercises that allowed filmmakers to engage with each other in applying innovation and creativity in real film and video production scenarios. He taught the employees about the biggest barriers that stifle creativity in pre-production, on set, and in post-production – and how to break through them.
These filmmakers were able to assess their creativity and innovation skills, tools and mindset, and start to think about new ways of working together. As a result, they obtained specific and practical tools to help them raise their standards and produce more innovative content. A few weeks later, the CEO emailed Nelson – “We have been seeing a bigger catch of valuable ideas in our teams, and a creative boost. We’re saving a lot more time as we’re getting to the solutions faster.” Some of the specific comments received from Producers and other participants – “Nelson delivered the most engaging and interactive presentation that our company has ever had. Nelson’s deep knowledge about his subject, and his ability to present in a highly engaging and impactful way inspired our team”, and “totally inspired and educated our production team. His ability to manage and capture an audience is impressive.”