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The Logistics of Ideas

By Jon Denn | 10/06/2015 | 3:26 AM | Categories: Film, Music, Weblogs

"I won't let you down,
no I won't let you down."
                                        OK Go

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
                                                                                                    Peter Drucker

This 5 minute video is a marvel in logistics. It actually makes the "product" much more about logistics than the song or band or message. It is in the genre of "one-take videos"—meaning if you goof up—start over. You have to get it completely right—all the way through—and on camera.  

Here is another video by a Vistage member, The Line Up, that put the one-take concept to use in a shockingly poetic marketing piece for their company. I was struck that they were able to involve their customers which will light up social media like fireworks when each and every participant posts their performance. It's really interesting marketing. Maybe even something more—entertainment.

What peaks my curiosity about this logistic marketing is whether any firm can come up with an outside the box idea that can catapult them onto the next level of growth? Is it solely an act of a genius catching the muse, or can thinking tools likewise find the map? Since most of the best writing today is done in teams, and research says a small group is smarter than the smartest person in the room—there is high hope for process tools.

Here are three that might get you and your team to move ideas around, logistically, to find a shockingly successful marketing approach or innovation.

1. The Six Thinking Hats

Most meetings suffer from the same game plan. There are six archetypes in the room, the Goal Obsessed, the Naysayer, the Dreamer, the Fact Gatherer, the Empath, and the Process-keeper. Each dukes it out trying to win, or at least not lose. The Six Thinking Hats is a tool for the whole team to think laterally and deeply in each scenario—together. 

2. Brainswarming

There are people who think strategically or top down, and those who are resourceful and think bottom up. Brainswarming is the process of doing both at the same time to find a brilliant connection between the two. In The Line Up's marketing it would seem to have been "how to get a killer video with limited funds" with "involving our customers, employees, products, and the shop floor."

3. A Beautiful Constraint

This concept suggests that teams do not think well when they are resource restricted—but they should. Part of The Beautiful Constraint process is to name the constraint and then finish the sentence, "we can if..." Sounds simple, but it's a great way to get past the false assumption that, "it can't be done because..."

What marketing or innovation breakthrough can your team make using logistical thinking? 

If you'd like to discuss anything you've read here, you can contact me at jon.denn@vistagechair.com.

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About Jon Denn

Jon Denn

Jon Denn is a CEO Coach, and chairs a Vistage private advisory board on the south shore of Boston. He does pro bono work with SCORE Cape Cod, and is the incoming vice chair of the chapter. He is a former hotel chain CEO, publisher, entrepreneur, and has twelve years experience directing an adaptive leadership program. His BA is in Business Administration majoring in Organizational Behavior.



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