Do You Need a Whack on the Side of Your Head?

More specifically, do you need help embracing your creativity?

I can hear some of you saying right now, “what creativity”?

Relax, you’ve got it. Even if you don’t think you use it often, it’s there. Let’s figure out how to brush it off a bit. Ready?

If you haven’t read the book referenced in this blog’s title, A Whack on the Side of the Head, written by noted creativity doc, Dr. Roger von Oech, it’s one I suggest. It has stimulated creativity in millions of readers around the world since its original printing 25 years ago. Click here for an overview of the book.

Although I’ve written on the topic of creativity before, the immensely popular, viral and financially successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge makes this topic timely and relevant to revisit. Conceived by individuals and subsequently embraced by the ALS Association, this is a study in creativity, simplicity and the use of social media.

It’s also a real life look at the phenomenon written about in one of my favorite books, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. Again, I suggest this book to you if you’ve not yet read it. Gladwell spells out the very “viralness” of an idea, campaign or product that we now see with the ice bucket challenge. The tipping point comes when that idea, etc., takes on a life of its own and gains momentum.

Wouldn’t you like to find, or create, that next Ice Bucket Challenge?

Of course.

We all would. Millions have been raised and the profile of the disease, and the organization, have risen exponentially. A situation we’d all like for our organizations!

Let’s look at the very basic components of this campaign:

1.) It’s simple. Really, what could be more simple than dumping ice water on your head?

2.) It’s fun. OK, I’ll admit, this is spoken from someone who hasn’t been doused with ice water, but in every video clip I see people are having fun.

3.) It involves people, and gets them emotionally involved. Not only does this appeal to people emotionally (really, I’ve been nominated to do this??), it’s now spawning creativity in how people complete the challenge.

4.) It’s self-perpetuating. This is social media at its best. Each person completing the challenge subsequently names several others to participate. It’s difficult now to look at social media (and now TV coverage) without seeing someone participating.

5.) It’s a win-win for the organization. The challenge is to either douse yourself or to write a check for $100. With millions raised, it’s pretty clear that many are doing both. No losers here.

The best part about this creative campaign is that it started with individuals, not with the organization. But, The ALS Association was quick enough, social media savvy enough, and creative enough to see the power of the idea and embraced it.

Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, your creativity can take many forms. Creativity in business doesn’t demand that you be DaVinci. You only need to begin to see situations and problems differently. There are opportunities for creativity every day. I’d love to hear from you on ways you’ve been creative and the success of that creativity.

Boxer Advisors, LLC, is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.

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