Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Grand Unified Theory of Creativity

I am approaching 40 years of experience mumbling and working with Madison Avenue ad agencies and their clients, finding strategies that invigorate the sales of products, brands, categories and industries. Beneath the surface I've sought what I call The Grand Unified Theory of Creativity - what is it that would give a client the single most comprehensive yet concise view of all product and positioning potentials available to their business. While this search with my clients has allowed me to amass many career's worth of experience in less than a lifetime, I still wonder why more people don't get it - knowing as I do that they can go farther than where they are, expanding their product or strategy's Viability Envelope, by just tipping the creative tea cup a bit further - in the same way shifting from 'fit' and 'dryness' to 'development' dramatically expanded Pamper's industry footprint?

Letters back from companies such as Starbucks and their Senior Vice President of Category Management state they have plenty of specially designed resources available for the gathering and measurement of the required data - never realizing that you can never measure your way to where your business can go. Again I ask, "So why don't they get it?"

No one is talking to Starbucks (or any company) about The Grand Unified Theory of Creativity (google "the grand unified theory of creativity" in quotation marks and you will find I am one of only two people on the planet thinking about it, and the other guy wants to be a western writer.) And Starbuck's 'gathered' and 'measured' data is doing nothing to reverse the fact that the strategy that once made them most powerful is now being copied handily by every other Tom, Dick and Harry coffee purveyor.

Strategic Innovation, and The Grand Unified Theory of Creativity is about Multi-Dimensional Creativity. Another one of those terms that companies such as Starbucks tells me is provided by their ad agencies (really?...so if you google the term "muli-dimensional creativity" why don't any advertising agencies pop up in results?)? Multi-Dimensional Creativity is about that comprehensive/concise justaposition of which I spoke earlier - looking at fractions of millions of strategic options in the blink of an eye. That's just to get the linear thinkers out of the starting blocks. It doesn't come from the user-generated input websites touted by Chrysler to get them closer to their customers. It's the Abstract Creativity, The Abstract Dimensioning that ensues that makes the obvious special. (and that's not covered by any ad agencies or strategic innovators either).

So say you are Staples, and the strategy that once made you so powerful, and the first to consolidate office supply acquisition, is now so copied that you've become little more than a commodity; what do you need to shift your business strategy from strategy maintenance to strategic creation mode? You need to visit a fine tailor and get your new grand unified view of creativity custom tailored to fit you.

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