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The best place to find a new, inspirational, innovative idea is ANYWHERE! Yes, a good idea awaits you just about anywhere you look, the problem is that most of us are looking for the wrong things in the wrong places.

Here’s how it usually goes…We need to find the answer to some problem, and we ask the question, “Who can help me with so-and-so?” or we ask, “Who’s the best author on such-and such-subject?” or “What’s the best book about this-or-that?” The problem is, we’re deliberately narrowing our focus to what may or may not actually be what we need to be searching for in the first place. Not to mention o the fact that we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment when that one guru or that one book turns out to not have all the answers we need when we need them or if they turn out to be “wrong” in the long-term.

A better source of new ideas is to constantly be making the world around you into a case study. Study anything and everything. Fact, fiction, history, current events, whatever, and when you see something that strikes you for any reason at all, jot it down somewhere or find some other way to capture it (Thank you, Evernote!). Then, when you need a new idea, you’ll have a stockpile if ideas you can browse through, which will give you a ton of inspiration,  and you’ll be amazed at how creative you suddenly become!

Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.” – Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad

 

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That an organization tends to get less efficient as it grows probably doesn’t come as a great, earth-shattering, revolutionary piece of news to you. But what may sometimes elude our understanding is exactly why it seems to be that as an organization gets larger, growth sometimes comes at the price of efficiency, which in turn causes us to question if the net gain is really worth it.

I ran across this quote by Al Ries in The 22 Immutable Laws of Internet Marketing and I thought it really hit the nail on the head:

As a company gets bigger, it also becomes internally less efficient. Too many layers of management, too many channels of communication, too much time spent just keeping track of what others in the organization are doing.”

 

Now we know! He goes on to praise the addition of computers to the systems of the organization as a way of helping manage some of these inefficiencies, but I think the big lesson for us is to be careful how we grow! Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Bigger almost always means that complexity goes up, which also increases the number of opportunities for error (thank you for that lesson, Six Sigma!).

So growth is good, just be careful how you grow! Is a bigger but less efficient organization really what you want?

Growth that results only in volume and does not produce higher overall productivities is fat – it should be sweated.” – Peter F. Drucker

 

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I mentioned last year that I have kind of an annual tradition of reading Peter Gent’s classic, ground-breaking football novel, North Dallas Forty every year around the time football season starts. After a blistering hot spell we have been blessed with a nice cool down that makes fall feel like fall! It sets the tone for football season and reminds us why Oklahoma is such a great place to live any time, but especially in the fall!

Anyhow, Gent’s sequel to North Dallas Forty, aptly titled North Dallas After Forty didn’t receive anywhere near the acclaim of the original. I can kind of see why the second book wasn’t so well received, but I really liked it, too, and I recommend it as well. The second book catches up with the characters around 20 or so years after the events of the first book,. It revisits their present-day lives and also has frequent flashbacks to when the characters were in training camp, so you get to see their worlds through both young and older eyes.

In one flashback scene of the book the players are attending training camp in California. The camp is located in a secluded area, and one character remarks how in 20 years, the rolling, empty hills will all be covered with housing additions, shopping centers, and the like. When one character shrugs that 20 years is a long time, the originator of the remark says, “Only in the life of a jock.”

For some reason, that line really struck me when I first read it 21 years ago. I can now confirm that, whether you’re a jock or not,  20 years is indeed the mere blink of an eye. So I’ve tried to stop blinking!

Anyhow, good read if you’re looking for a little mental getaway.

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Altshulernt

 

 

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When was the last time you saw a parade held in honor of the marketing professionals of the world? The role played by marketers is crucial! Consumption drives the economy of the world, and marketing helps stimulate that consumption by demonstrating and delivering value on behalf of customers, who are the undisputed focal point of all commerce. Yet the vast majority of those fortunate enough to work in the profession of marketing do what they do behind the scenes. We, the esteemed customers, get to benefit immensely from the value that is produced, yet we’re so busy enjoying that value that we often don’t even consider, much less recognize, those who go about telling the value story, creating demand, and delivering benefits on the customer’s own terms. Doing what marketers do creates jobs, fuels the economy, and raises the standard of living of society. Nothing happens until a consumer buys, and a consumer doesn’t buy unless he or she see’s value. If marketers ever stopped marketing, the economy would grind to a halt. End of sermon.

One group of marketers to which I’m proud to belong, the American Marketing Association of Oklahoma City, sure deserves a hand! The kickoff meeting of the 2012-13 season is almost a month in the rear view mirror, yet attendees are still buzzing about it. Rightfully so! A tip of the hat to Kevin Jessop, president of Evolve Research and 2012-13 chapter president, and his team for giving us VALUE for our investment.

Jolly good, sir!

The general raising of the standard of modern civilization…would have been impossible without the spreading of the knowledge of higher standards by means of advertising.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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