Who’s afraid of the big idea?

We have a fear of being seen as stupid – and it’s stifling creativity.

This is how advertising guru (he’d hate that), Russell Davies would have it.

At the opening session on day two of 2gether08, Russell (who runs the apparently fab – I haven’t been – Interesting conferences) talked about “Interesting for a change”.

Here are some key points:

  • People are interesting, messages are boring
  • Focus on people, not messages
  • Depth, humour, subtlety, irony, anger, romance, drama, involvement
  • Little actions (eg: putting ‘thank you’ notes on people’s bikes at Fruitstock) are what matter
  • Don’t spend time and energy worrying about the next ‘big idea’ – it may never happen!
  • Be happy to be a contributor, no need for any big, ‘engaged’ effort
  • Instead of writing a list, just go and DO something.
  • We don’t have to separate strategy and execution any more – we can combine them.

Russell recommended Ze Frank’s talk on ‘brain crack’ as the best description of organisational use of ideas he’s seen. All that focus on big ideas simply stifles innovation, apparently.

Can we have ‘contributing managers’ like we get ‘contributing editors’, then?