The Care and Feeding of the Creative Mind
Also keep in mind that there might be a hundred different “right ways” to write and design a successful piece -- but 99 of them might not be what you have in mind. Decide what you want and stick to it. Remember that it’s very difficult for your creative team to hit a moving target. If you don’t know what you want, fail to express it clearly -- or if you change your mind frequently -- you are guaranteed a long a frustrating editing process.
3. Open your mind
If you’re not open to new ideas, you’ll always get the same kind of creative -- the kind that smells stale. Hold a creative audit with your account team to review all the work you’ve done in the recent past. Include a brainstorming session to explore new areas of interest.
During your brainstorming, try to avoid “idea killer” comments such as: “We tried that 10 years ago and it didn’t work” ... “We can’t get good stories because our field people won’t talk to us” … “I don’t think Harriet likes purple, so avoid that” and “How much does that cost? ”
Think big picture and worry about the details later.
4. Take a risk
In order to find a creative breakthrough, you must be willing to climb out on a limb. Of course, you should test any new approach first, to minimize your risk, but don’t be afraid to stretch every now and then. The willingness to test something out of the ordinary will give you a chance for extraordinary results -- plus, it will give your creative team the spirit to keep striving for “something extra.”
Realize that most gains are modest ones, achieved through a continual process of testing and evaluating different approaches. But by taking calculated risks, you’ll eventually find a new approach that blows everything else out of the water. It’s exciting.
Steve Maggio is an industry leader who has provided innovative strategy and creative for more than 200 nonprofits in his 30-year career. Since co-founding DaVinci Direct Inc. in 2005, Steve has served national accounts Disabled American Veterans, Lupus Foundation of America, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, National Jewish Health and several faith-based charities, as well as regional healthcare, humane society, social service and international nonprofits. His teams have won more than 250 awards, including DMA ECHO, DMAW MAXI, DMFA Package of the Year, and NEDMA Awards for Creative Excellence, including Best of Show.