Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic." Bill Bernbach

"I got a great gimmick. Let's tell the truth." N.M. Ohrbach

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything." George Lois

Today's image: Heavenly Cowboy by running horse pictures. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you very much

My social media brief has now been presented a bunch of times. It's been a fun experience and a great adventure in learning. The brief has been constantly improved thanks to constructive interaction before, during and after each talk. Preparing, updating, tweaking and giving the talk has introduced me to some gifted folks. These bright individuals have challenged me and in that process made my brief much stronger. The brief has been presented before a wide variety of participants at diverse venues including organized events/conferences (broadcasters, publishers, creative directors, government, private equity capital), corporate in-house training sessions, and senior management retreats. The brief has taken different forms from what is now my standard one-hour brief with Q&A to a four-hour workshop. Each talk was custom made, fine tuned for the occasion. So far, all talks have received excellent reviews.

As a result of the brief it has been my pleasure to meet folks who have invited me in, put me to work providing their teams with counsel on social media. My thought is the next couple of posts will be dedicated to sharing some lessons learned from those experiences. But, first...

A note about the important matter of respect. Setting the tone and the stage for creative success. Hint: It's all about the environment and the attitude.

This is not a dress rehearsal.
We are professionals.
This is the big time.

That was the sign once posted in the control room of WFYR, Chicago. While the origin and author is unknown, my recollection is the sign found me during my watch at WBZ. It was the first thing I posted in WFYR control after arriving from Boston as the new PD. My thanks to network radio star Dick Bartley who recalled the sign during his recent Ten Questions feature on the Joel Denver portal AllAccess.com (Back in the day, Dick was our midday personality)

The sign was part of a bigger creative makeover, one that started with a show of respect for talent. The staff needed to understand...the studio was a stage and not an office. We delivered performances rather than worked shifts. Other stations employed disc jockeys and announcers while ours was a creative home to performers. We came to work everyday to commit great radio. To paraphrase my friend Bobby Rich, the legendary radio icon, our attitude was "We're WFYR, anything else is just a radio station."

The right environment for creativity encourages and allows play.

Keeping things in perspective is key. Another sign. This one we posted in the conference room of our TV operation...

This is not a life saving hospital.
We are not looking for a cure for cancer.
This is only a TV station.

(It's FM radio with pictures)

If you are not able to laugh at yourself, not able to bring a healthy sense of humor to the situation, creativity will be scarce.

As Hugh MacLeod writes in his wonderful little book, Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity (Amzn)

"None of this is rocket science. If I had to condense this entire book into a line or two, it would read something like, 'Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite.'"

Word to the wise: Expecting nothing but the best works! Your expectations of people and their expectations of themselves are critical factors in how well people perform. As readers of this humble blog are aware I have a strong belief in the power of the Pygmalion effect. I do because it works. Embrace the notion and begin to enjoy the incredible effectiveness of servant leadership. Mind the words of the brilliant Dee Hock ... "If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny."

Related: Pygmalion in Management by J. Sterling Livingston, Harvard Business Review, here. Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf, Amzn. One from Many: VISA and the Rise of the Chaordic Organization by Dee Hock, Amzn.

Bonus: Social Media Engagement And Financial Success Are Both Trailing Variables by Tom Webster via brandsavant, here. Highly recommended. Kudos, Tom and thanks for the mention.

Shameless self promotion dept: If you would like to learn more about my social media brief, new media workshops and their availability please get in touch using the Contact: My email link located in the left column of this page. Thank you.

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