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Archive for the ‘fresh ideas’ Category

Nick, over at SEENcreative, gives us this (via orangeyeti):

“It’s very easy to collaborate with someone who has lots of ideas. (…) This is because people who have lots of ideas are constantly trading up: You have and idea; I have and idea; your ideas is better, let’s go with that. So ideas don’t have this enormous currency. They are just the material that you’re working from.

The worst people to work with are people that — every now and then, once a year — have an idea, because they build a temple around it. And it becomes THE idea.”

– Screenwriter/Director Tony Gilroy

This is so true. If you have ever worked on a project that requires some creative input, then being surrounded by people who either have lots of ideas, or rarely an idea at all, can make or break the flow of the project. This is because ideas are NOT the finish line. They are not something to hold as a trophy. The important thing should be the final product, the execution. As Gilroy said, the ideas are just material to work from.

Of course, the other end of this spectrum is that the generation of ideas can become so fast and fevered that it’s hard to take a step back and focus on one thing and execute it. At some point you need to gather your source material and actually begin to make something. Any additional ideas can be used for the next iteration.

This balancing act is the key to managing projects that require a lot of creative fuel. If you can put together (or stumble upon) a team who has the right mixture of ideas and focus, you should have a nice foundation. This is often why it’s recommended that people looking to form a start-up do a few projects together first, before they officially become partners.

Well put.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone. 🙂


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Via OrangeYeti, from AdPulp, here is a little bit of an interview given by Maurice Levy (Publicis Groupe) to Scott Donaton (of Ad Age). If you’ve ever worked for a company that was so set in its ways that it had grown stale, you’ll understand what Levy is talking about:

“I have never stabilized an organization. Crystallizing an organization is freezing the energy. In chemistry, instability is very good because it creates some combinations you don’t expect.”

“Without change, there is fossilization,and that’s the worst thing that can happen.”

“Ideas,are so fragile, so tenuous, that managers must destroy layers that can obscure or damage them. If you have an organization that is too administrative, you are just killing the ideas. As we say in France, when you ask a committee to draw a horse, you get a camel.”

Read the full interview here.

So there you have it: As a business leader, look for flux. Look for tangents. Look for the unexpected. Recruit adventurously. Give your people the freedom and flexibility to contribute in the most personal, passionate of ways. Eliminate silos and procedures when it comes to the sharing of ideas. When it comes to dialogue. When it comes to cooperation. Decentralize “meetings”. Disconstruct the project ideation process. Empower your people to set the stage for extraordinary new products, business improvements, and creative work.

If you can’t trust your people enough to empower them, to literally give them the keys to the place, then you aren’t hiring the right people. Your job as a leader isn’t always to “lead”. Most of the time, because you aren’t there to bark orders or stand over everyone’s shoulder, it is simply to create an environment, an ecosystem, that allows your team, your army, to do the best possible work they can. It is to create a culture that makes them want to be a part of something greater than the sum of their job description. That makes them proud to be, even.

Ideas are fragile.

Without change, organizations die.

These are the two little mantras you should keep chanting every time you pick up the phone, or a magazine, or your TV remote. They should be in the back of your mind every time you shake someone’s hand or invite them to have a seat.

Embrace instability. Welcome change. Engage uncertainty. Welcome the unknown and love it for all of its infinite number of possibilities.

And they truly are infinite.

Chew on that. Have a great Wednesday. 😉

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Today’s brilliant quote comes from Mr. Bob Dylan, via the meme huffer blog:

“Don’t be afraid not to follow the herd – because where the herd’s gone, the food is already eaten.”

Double-negatives aside, Bob is right: Following the herd is just about the least profitable business model in existence… Yet, sadly, it is by far the most common.

We touched on this concept in the “The Brand Erosion Spiral of Doom” a couple of days ago: Waiting for your competitors to come up with the great ideas and then getting onboard is not a good way to build a strong brand for yourself, or capture much market share.

If you aren’t already finding your own lush pastures, maybe it’s time you stopped settling for someone else’s scraps. Do something different. Take chances every once in a while. Innovate. Put original ideas into action. Try something new. Do something.

Get there first – or at least be among the first.

Life is too short – and green pastures are in far too short supply – for anyone, you included, to waste your time following the herd. It might seem like the safe thing to do, but trust me: It’s a hard living, fighting over someone else’s scraps, and in the long term, there’s absolutely no future in it.

None.

Unless you like going hungry.

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