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Posted by on Nov 4, 2009 in Business Development | 0 comments

The Fun Theory and Sustainable Impact

It’s proven: we like to do fun things. We also like to take shortcuts with dull or tedious tasks (generally speaking). Not everyone takes the shortcuts in life, but if you have a choice between four flights of stairs and an elevator, most people are going to choose the elevator. However, what if you made taking the stairs fun. Volkswagon put this “fun theory” to the test when they made a piano out of a staircase: They also made throwing out trash and recycling fun. By simply adding a sound effect or making a game out of recycling, they’ve generated more interest and consequently, more impact. For non-profits, the fun theory can be the difference in minimal impact or long-term sustainability. By injecting fun into your initiatives, you can create a lasting impact on your audience and those you support. Instead of starting with the money, start with the fun. For instance, take jet skiing. Why not create a course whereby jet skiiers donate X amount of dollars for...

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

Ninjas and Rewarding Creativity

The other day, I passed a man with a sign that read, “Wife and Family Kidnapped by Ninjas. Need Money for Kung Fu Lessons.” Call me Scrooge, but I normally don’t give money to homeless people. Partly because I hardly ever carry change (and I have trust issues with my credit card) and if I do have change, how could I only give it to one person and not the other 3 people that ask? But for this guy, I could certainly spare a couple of quarters. If he was just asking for change, I’d keep my money. But I had to reward him for his creativity. The same principle applies to advertising. The typical message is, “could you give us your money because we have a better product?” Thank you for asking, but I’ll keep my change. You’re no better than the guy just simply asking for money because… what, he’s worth it? Inject some creativity into your message. It could be as simple as, “No dogs. No...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

Give Boring a Bang

How to Make Simple Things, Great Everyone remembers gym class: sweaty locker rooms, dodgeball, track, etc. Across the board it wasn’t the most thrilling class, but at the University of Houston, they are trying to change that. They are offering something a bit more interesting and technologically advanced. The phys ed teachers decided to incorporate the Wii Fit into their curriculum. Had I had such forward-looking gym teachers, I would have actually enjoyed attending class. What the teachers at the University of Houston have done is bring a new demographic into the fold by taking a new angle to an old tradition. Including the Wii into the course gets student excited about exercising while providing entertainment at the same time. How can you put a new spin on an old website or product? Apple utilized touch-screen technology to revolutionize the way we interact with our mobile devices; Starbucks offered high-quality coffee when people thought quantitatively about coffee; Arm & Hammer found their product could not only be used in...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2009 in Branding | 1 comment

Work Multi-Dimensional

St. Ignazio church in Rome features some of the early multi-dimensional artists that used depth of field to push their craft to new heights (literally). It is multi-dimensional thinking that pushes a craft or profession to the outer limits and revolutionizes what is possible. Too often we are bound to one dimensional thinking; too often we ask, “what can fit inside this frame?” For example, how many lawn care services can one town have? Mowing grass is all the same… it’s one dimensional. What if you dare to be more? What if you incorporated a social mission into your business–give it depth, meaning and character. No longer are you just another lawn care service, you have a emotional connection with the community and do good by your business and those you support. To further illustrate multi-dimensional thinking, I stumbled across this incredible video that embodies many of the key characteristics of multi-dimensional thinking: How does this video work in multi-dimensions: Scrap and Start Anew — The artists that created...

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