WHAT’S MY STORY
I’ve had the luck/privilege/honor/joy of being at some of the most innovative companies in the world as they were “changing the world.” And I’ve done it by being creative. Over time, I’ve learned from experience and study how creativity and innovation happen in organizations. It happens by trusting your own people, by bringing in new points of view, by letting process, discipline and hard work yield results.
The best places I ever worked at shared one common quality: the all had a mission. You could feel it in the hallways and in the work. I felt that mission at Letterman and at MTV Networks. (See my lessons learned.)
Those jobs were also hard. (And I’ve worked in a meat packing plant!) Creativity isn’t the flash of genius followd by the ride to the Oscars. It takes discipline and rigor, long hours and tough decisions.
I’ve also worked at places that lost their “Mojo,” and cut creativity out of the picture. I made a presentation to the board of a major media company once, and had the CEO mutter before I began, “Here comes the arts and crafts part.” That guy oversaw the total gutting of that organization, btw.
I worked for one of the great creatives in TV: Norman Lear. From Norman, I learned to always ask: “What is the audience seeing?” It’s a way of flipping your current business practices and strategies “inside-out,” and seeing yourself for the first time.
At Twitter, I learned how to harness creatives and get business leaders to trust their own talent. You have to remember that, in the 2010s, it wasn’t so easy to tell your talent to just go ahead and talk directly to the audience! (I was also in the building on the day they taught Trump to tweet… but that’s a whole other story.)
I write on the site about how everyone has a “Superpower.” Mine is the remix, the mash-up, the discovery of what you hadn’t heard yet when put together with something new. It’s combining of the old with the new and making something that is familiar yet novel, disruptive yet evolutionary, risky yet profitable.
How does that help you? Well, for one, as I used to say at Twitter, “I won’t fuck up your show.” (Or your business.) What I WILL do is help you build a creative culture. I know how to take stock of your current creative, how to ignite new thinking, build minimum viable products that test that new thinking and then execute on those new strategies and products.
Let’s sit down and see if there’s something we can do together.