7 Big Ideas You Missed Last Week

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Fast Company's “Innovation Uncensored” brought together the most creative minds in business for two days of idea exchange. Here’s what they talked about.

http://bit.ly/7BigIdeas

by Abigail Marks (@nycabby), Director, Strategy & Operations, OgilvyEntertainment

Published in: Business, Technology
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7 Big Ideas You Missed Last Week

  1. by Abigail Marks, Director, Strategy & Operations, OgilvyEntertainment
  2. 1Authenticity is what you do and whoseinterests you serve. It’s not what you say.We seek it out in friendships, relationships,and as consumers. It is simply irrationalthat we aren’t behaving accordingly asorganizations. Being authentic leads to thedevelopment of the most successful andenduring personal and corporate brands.Both Mario Batali and Diane von Furstenbergoffered up personal reflections to theaudience, and both have built a brand that isbigger than themselves or the products theysell. Diane von Furstenberg is still learning togrow into the brand DvF has become.Nancy Lublin, CEO of DoSomething.org,made it clear that in the world of socialgood, the days of supporting a cause basedon the ‘CEO Wish’ are over. Corporationsneed to get involved—both authenticallyand tactically—with causes that meansomething to their business, employees andconsumers. Young people are hungry to havean impact on the world around them, andif your consumers care about something,you should too. Co-founder and Co-CEO ofWarby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, predictedthat in 20 years, you will not be able to hiredecent talent if don’t put community idealsabove your own. I don’t think it will take thatlong.
  3. 2I joined in a collective sigh of reliefthe moment it happened; eventhough there was no name calling,bad digital and mobile ads receiveda public shaming. The lesson: don’thate the player, change the game.Care about consumers’ experiences;don’t aim to disrupt what they’re trying to do.To that point, don’t expect an exchange ofvalue in order to get a consumer to disclosepersonal information to the brand. If youare getting information from a consumer,use it to improve his or her experience.Don’t cannibalize the relationship beingestablished.Brands can be drivers of social innovationas well. Alexa Von Tobel, LearnVest CEO,tackled the taboo of personal debt, thecost of secondary education and theinaccessibility to financial planning tools forthose who need it most. The conversationturned to social change, youth cultureand equality, topics were opened up andbuzzwords were slaughtered, which was allquite refreshing and effective.
  4. 3Great innovation is a balance between the brainpower inside big organizationsand the agility of the fearless. Matt Kingdon, Co-Founder of What If! Partners,requested that all flowcharts be left at coach check. Innovation isn’t aboutfitting into existing boxes and processes. In order to grow, organizations mustplay it a bit loose—not just tolerating creativity, but encouraging it.
  5. Matt Kingdon reminded us that innovation isoften triggered by those too naïve to be awareof why something can’t be done. Activelylisten to team members with varying levels ofexperience. Innovation is cultural, and as withany culture, it must be supported, reinforced,passed down, and and fostered.After some contemplation, Brian Wong ofKiip to us that his abilities and talent at sucha young age were borne out of traveling theworld, meeting different cultures and thatmost ideas are a subconscious culminationof his experiences. In a similar thoughtKingdon reminded us, via the a simpleexercise of folding your arms the “wrong”way, that we need to endure discomfort tobreak habits, both physically and mentally.4
  6. “Learning by doing” is perfectly acceptable.Sometimes it is the only way. If the emergencyresponders on the East Coast had only reliedupon approved, established channels duringsuperstorm Sandy, the devastation couldhave been even worse. By adapting in realtime, finding means to reach those in needthrough Twitter and using other lessons fromprevious disasters from the Google crisisteam, the Sandy social media responseforced a rapid digital evolution of emergencyresponse.Innovations happen when you take betaconcepts live, sometimes by necessity,sometimes by opportunity.5
  7. As Jack Dorsey, Creator of Twitter and Founder and CEO Square, pointedout, technology is a great equalizer; it levels the playing field and opens upcompetition based on merit. Technology is merely the canvas. It is up tothe creativity of users to put it to use. Gratitude and humility are essential tolearning, collaborating, pivoting, and adapting.Consumers don’t care about industry models. Individual needs win, every time.6
  8. David Droga reminded us that brands canno longer rely on buying attention. Just incase anyone didn’t realize it, most televisiontechnology these days is being developed inan effort to avoid the advertising industry.Dove’s Fernando Machado revealed that thebest content is developed from the purposeof a brand. Brands must engage throughmeaningful experiences, be that content,events, communications, or anything elsewe can dream up.. As proof of concept,Dove’s latest project “Real Beauty Sketches”brought tears to the eyes of many audiencemembers, who gravitated toward the culturalinsight that only 7% of women think they’rebeautiful. Dove’s sensation, “Real BeautySketches,” is the work of a brand thatunderstands where its consumers live.7
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