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How Creative Are You? Take the Test.

March 28, 2017 by Carla Johnson A Harvard grad, Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon was a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who researched creativity. In 1949 he founded The Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). After his retirement, he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. Throughout his career, MacKennon dug deep into …

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If LEGO Built Your Brand Experience, What Would It Look Like?

March 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson Marketers love massively creative work. We hype Super Bowl ads. We study the most innovative companies. And we follow curious minds. But that’s where much of our inspiration ends and reality sets in. We have bosses who would never go for such wild ideas. Budgets that can’t stretch that far. There’s too much bureaucracy. …

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Design Thinking: What It Is and Why It Matters to Marketers

May 2, 2017 by Carla Johnson When people hear the word “design,” it conjures up images of architects, graphic designers and maybe a programmer. These are the people who stereotypically take an idea or concept and bring it into the real world. They put different pieces together, many of which seem unrelated, and ultimately solve problems for their clients. But …

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Insights vs Measurement. Are You Holding Yourself Back?

February 9, 2017 By Carla Johnson “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future helped me realize I wasn’t crazy. I grew up in a house full of left-brain people – my dad was an accountant-turned-farmer, my mom was a teacher and …

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Do You Suffer From Brand Detachment Disorder?

February 7, 2017 by Carla Johnson Super Bowl ads are the mother lode of creativity. They’re the most watched show on television every year and the buzz of marketers for weeks on end – potentially years. From this year’s National Geographic spot for its upcoming show Genius and Audi’s ad about equal opportunity and equal pay for women, it’s the …

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The Secret Phrase that Jump Starts Creativity

January 12, 2017 by Carla Johnson Great ideas seem to be a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Are companies fertile with fabulous ideas because they woo creative people? Or is it the creative people who create the culture? Companies that consistently crank out innovative work have learned how to streamline the process – even the parts that allow for uncertainty and chaos. But …

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Play Your Way to More Innovative Customer Experiences

December 6, 2016 by Robert Rose In January, Facebook held its 50th hackathon, a 24-hour Red Bull- and coffee-infused get-together where coders work on innovative applications or new features for existing products. These kind of events are legendary in Silicon Valley, of course; Facebook isn’t the only company to conduct them. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and just about every open-source organization …

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Sleepless in the C-Suite: What keeps CMOs up at night?

August 2, 2016 by Carla Johnson “What keeps you up at night?” For marketers, there’s plenty. The annual Tech Heads survey of marketing directors and business buyers points out exactly this. This year’s results reveal that B2B CMOs are six times more likely to lose sleep than gain it in 2016, compared with previous years. And while there are several …

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Welcome to the Creative Age – Are You Ready?

May 19, 2016 by Chuck Frey We’re living in the Creative Age, where ideas are the coin of the realm. Are you prepared to leverage the opportunities it can bring your way? During the Industrial Age, brawn ruled the day. Only a relative handful of leaders and managers were paid to think creatively about the organization’s present health and future …

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How to Convert Customers’ Passions Into Inspiring Content

December 1, 2015 Western Union banks on its customers’ passions to inspire remarkable content. Laston Charriez, the company’s senior vice president of marketing for the Americas, explains how it innovates in a conservative industry. Few brands have been household names as long as Western Union. Launched in 1851 as the New York & Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (the company …

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How to Create a Thought Leadership Strategy That Supports True Innovation

February 3, 2015 Thought leadership is a common approach for companies wanting to establish credibility within their industry and stand apart from the crowd — and for good reason. It’s true that thought leaders tend to be the most successful professionals in their fields, and because of this, have more influence over their audience. The problem is that people throw …