Like a sample? Here’s the Prologue..
In marketing and advertising (and other fields), when you need ideas, you often need a lot of ideas, fast. You brainstorm, you think tank, you blue sky…. you use a bunch of different ways to create ideas, but at the end of the day you’re sitting at a screen thinking “this sucks“. So what went wrong?
Idea generation can be a tricky beast. Two scenarios often kick in.
1. Your first idea gets stuck in your head, you think it’s great and it becomes difficult to move on.
2. You instantly analyse each idea in its embryonic stage, spot the problems and reject it out of hand.
Both scenarios can quickly stifle progress. So how do you avoid them? Here are a couple of simple techniques.
For the ‘first idea is the best idea‘ problem, you need to force yourself to move on. This requires discipline, which is easy to say but often hard to achieve unless you plan properly. Set yourself a target number of ideas to generate. It might be 3, or 5, or 100. Draw up a grid on a sheet of paper, but only allow enough room for a paragraph to describe the core of the idea. Write that down, then move on. It will still continue to develop in your subconscious, but the grid and the targets will help you refocus.
If you’re comfortable generating lots of ideas but you keep finding flaws, slow down. Generate the core idea, write it down and then re-examine it at a later date. De Bono’s 6 Hats thinking system is useful here. Look at each idea, mark down the flaws, but continue to use the 6 hats system to properly examine the idea. Just because an idea is flawed doesn’t mean it’s dead. The benefits may outweigh the issues. The 6 hats system can help you find ways around problems, and more importantly will train you to analyse ideas more effectively. The good old Black Hat is not a kiss of death, it’s more a means of identifying potential warnings. Work them through.
Idea generation is not a science, but there are plenty of methods to make it more consistent and more effective. I hope these help.
I love this. Simple, fun and engaging.
Hyundai has pulled a commercial showing a man unsuccessfully attempting suicide in his car. Is this the most offensive and insensitive ad ever?
UPDATE: SORRY IF THE LINK GETS BROKEN. THE ORIGINAL LINK WAS PULLED FROM YOUTUBE.
Hyundai claims to have no knowledge of, nor to have approved any such commercial. However, brands must learn that such errors can’t be swept under the rug in today’s market.
What do you think?
1. Begin. whatever you’re planning to do, start doing it. I know how lame this advice sounds, but I also know how many people have said to me “oh, I’ve always wanted to write/paint/sculpt/invent etc. etc.” Ideas are everywhere. Creativity is everywhere. The determination to do something about it is in short supply. Which brings me to tip #2.
Drum roll please….
2. Persevere. The alternative to the “I’ve always wanted to” line is “I started to write/paint/sculpt/invent something once…”. Beginning to work on your idea is fine, but once the initial thrill is over, it’s too easy to put it aside, or lose it in the mundane activities of the day to day. Keep going. Set yourself realistic mini goals throughout your project. Keep notes so you can see how far you’ve progressed. Find your own way to push yourself onwards, so you never feel the regret of saying “I started…..”. Instead, head for the chest puffing you of tip #3.
3. Finish. I know, you’re reeling back in amazement. Or saying “duh” to yourself. How can you start something without finishing it? Come on, be honest. How many drawers or files of half finished bits and pieces litter your life? Don’t keep fiddling away forever. Nothing is ever perfect, and you can come back and tweak later, as long as you finish first. Set a time frame. Even if it’s only first draft. Invite friends over to see your work on a set date. Publicly proclaim that you WILL finish on this day, at this hour and minute, so you can’t hide and tinker.
Creative endeavors are highly emotive. They carry a high risk of personal embarrassment if they fail. So it’s way, way too easy to carry that world breaking idea in your head and trot it out at parties than it is to commit to completion.
Years ago I had an idea for a novel. I began, I persevered and I completed. Did I become the next JK Rowling? No. But I can always say I did it. You can even buy it HERE.
Go on. Take the risk. Get your hands dirty. Begin, persevere and finish.