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The Energy of Considering Tales – PRINT Journal

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“Spark some new considering.”

That was Dave’s ask.

Dave is an effective pal of mine and the CMO of a start-up.

He was doing an offsite final week and requested me to be the keynote speaker.

This offsite comprised his complete firm and he wished to encourage them to assume extra creatively.

Dave’s a former advert man, so he loves promoting tales, however he jogged my memory that this was the entire firm. Advertising of us, certain. But additionally finance, product growth, manufacturing and gross sales.

A various viewers that each one wanted to depart the offsite impressed to do their jobs extra creatively.

This obtained me fascinated by considering. Not in an summary approach, though I do love and admire the work of somebody like Edward de Bono and his lateral considering principle.

No, this obtained me fascinated by tales about considering. What I name “Considering Tales.”

I collected 10. I offered 5. I’ll talk about three of them, briefly, right here with you.

The primary story is the Fosbury Flop. I first heard this story of defying conference from the “Father of Disruption” himself, Jean-Marie Dru.

Within the shortest of strokes, Dick Fosbury, a monitor and subject athlete, noticed everybody doing the excessive soar a technique — forwards. He discovered that you can get extra peak by going over backwards.

Fosbury’s revolutionary technique labored so effectively, it not solely earned him Gold on the 1968 Mexico Metropolis Olympics, it modified the game endlessly.

The brand new considering: See what everybody else is doing and take a look at the alternative. It simply would possibly get you quantum leads to an incremental world.

The subsequent two tales have been examples I learn from legendary artistic director Dave Trott.

One story was what I known as “Airplane Knowledge.” That is the story of Alexander Wald, the mathematician who saved lives in World Battle 2. Once more, briefly strokes, there was information from returning US Air Power fight planes. The info appeared clear: the place there have been bullet holes there must be re-enforcement.

What’s the information NOT displaying you?

However Wald checked out this case otherwise. He knew this answer wouldn’t fly — actually. So he checked out what the information didn’t present. And concluded, accurately, that the re-enforcement must be positioned the place there weren’t bullet holes.

This motion would improve the chances of planes and pilots returning.

The brand new considering: What’s the information NOT displaying you?

The final story I’ll share right here was one other good one from Trott, bolstered by the guide Shoe Canine and the movie Air.

It’s the Nike and Michael Jordan story.

Once more, within the shortest of strokes, how can a David beat Goliaths?

On this case, how may Nike signal Jordan over then-giants adidas and Converse?

The answer was a mixture of product, advertising and marketing and artistic financing.

Once more, brief strokes: Nike recognized Michael Jordan as the right embodiment and endorser of their then-fledgling basketball model.

To thwart Converse and entice adidas-devotee Jordan to return signal with Nike, they did some unconventional issues.

First, Nike created a colourful, disruptive shoe. This shoe was custom- made for Michael. (Not an present shoe that he would simply step into and endorse.)

Nike additionally agreed to pay the NBA fines as this shoe violated the league’s design guidelines. (This controversial transfer can be the advert marketing campaign with out adverts — the NBA would present and discuss in regards to the footwear on their programming — just about on each single televised recreation!)

Final bit: they gave their “celeb endorser” fairness in Nike. Certainly, Jordan and his household would earn cash from each sale of each shoe — and so they nonetheless do.

This sort of artistic endorser-financing isn’t even performed this a lot to at the present time.

The brand new considering: What rule are you able to break — at a calculated value? What guidelines can you alter to make them work in your favor?

This complete mission was actually useful for me — and one thing I can impart to you. Specifically, begin gathering “Considering Tales.”

As a result of if you get caught on an project you’ll be able to ask your self issues like: “What’s the Flop right here?” Or “What’s the information NOT displaying?” Or “Okay, right here’s Goliath…the place’s our slingshot? What are our stones?”

P.S. Right here’s an inventory and hyperlinks to different “Considering Tales” I collected for this mission that simply would possibly enable you.

The Zebra Boat

Blue Pee

The 5 Whys of Toyota

The Russian Area Pencil

The Janitor From NASA

The West Coast Offense

Promote Me This Pen


Rob Schwartz is the Chair of the TBWA New York Group and an govt coach who channels his creativity, expertise and knowledge into serving to others get the place they wish to be. This was initially posted on his Substack, RobSchwartzHelps, the place he covers work, life, and creativity.

Banner picture courtesy of creator (created on Midjourney).

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