Today’s post features “The Medici Effect“, by Frans Johansson. I’ve been promoting this book to my friends, family and random co-workers since I first read it in spring 2008. This was the most eye-opening book of my college career, and I would recommend it as a yearly read for anyone who needs a touch of creativity. Why do you need creativity in Marketing you say? Check out the highlights of the book to see if you can use any of the tips!
Connecting things that wouldn’t normally be connected
The book talks about jogging your brain by connecting things that wouldn’t normally be connected. Force the connection if you have to! He gives examples of architecture and insects, music and airlines, and many more. When people go out of their way to find a connection, they might just happen upon a brilliant idea! As you think about your product, service, company, and customer, think about new ways to incorporate your brand into life.
Planning for failure
Sad to say, but we all know most ideas fail. But if everyone in your company is so afraid to fail that they never try, you’re missing out on a wealth of brain power and ideas. To encourage creativity and problem-solving, create an environment where it’s ok to fail. This is not talking about laziness or sub-par performance, but rather genuine attempts to find a new way to solve a problem. When your company and employees allow time to fail, re-formulate, and try again, your customers win. Ultimately, failure is a part of improvement, so encourage out-of-the-box thinking once in a while.
Breaking down the barriers
These chapters focus on communication and inter-discipline collaboration. To make an out-of-the-norm connection with an idea, it would stand to reason that you would need to make an out-of-the-norm connection with a person or place. If people in your organization are holed up in their offices, behind their desks, with their computers, how are they going to encounter anything new? Break out of the silos! Encourage your employees to talk to each other and bounce ideas off each other. You may think that Marketing and Accounting have nothing in common, but you might be surprised to find that both of your clients face a particular problem. Don’t be afraid to interact with those outside your normal circle, both inside and outside the organization.
I could go on about “The Medici Effect”, but I would suggest you take a look for yourself. It’s a quick, engaging read that’s well worth the while… and after you check it out, you’ll agree that you need a little creativity in Marketing.
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