Becoming Jack Sparrow
Although Halloween is right around the corner, this post will sadly not be a tutorial to create a budget version of Johnny Deep in Pirates of the Caribbean.
* Sigh *
This week at SCA is all about Strategy and Mr Uri Baruchin was the perfect man for the job. For two thought-provoking hours, we learnt the Dos and Don’ts of how to form a great strategy. From the Inventor’s Paradox to Semitic Analysis, there was a whole heap of golden nuggets, ready for us to dig out.
Now, you’re probably thinking where the whole pirate thing is coming from but I promise there’s a reason behind this. Uri said that when it comes to strategy, we are “looking for treasure” just like Jack Sparrow. There is so much information waiting for us to uncover, readily available at our fingertips. However, with the amount of information overloading search engines like Google, it is hard to discern where uniquely useful gems can be found. Being bombarded by spam pages is the equivalent of trying to find a new matching pair of socks, in a heap of old smelly ones, at the bottom of a lost trunk.
The word treasure itself has 871,000,000 results!
Ah look, there is a K-pop band called treasure. I should check them out….
Getting back to the matter at hand, creativity and strategy go hand in hand. Richard Rumelt taught us to always start with a question as “Strategy is about action, about doing something” (Rumelt, 2011) but the questions asked are just as important as the asking itself. From asking, we are able to understand the question, make a plan, carry it out and then look back on it after the work has been produced, to see what could be added to make it better.
By learning the who (Customer), the what (Company) and the why (Context), along with all the other 5 billion C words that the advertisement industry uses, we are able to explore the bigger picture for better creative results. This came from Kenichi Ohmae, a Japanese organizational theorist and although the original model (designed for corporate strategy) has been manipulated multiple times, it acts as a building block where our ideas can grow. Those ideas need to be nourished with insights and fed fundamental truths, to then be solutions to the many problems we face in society, whether that be the small but critical problems i.e., a flat tire, or perhaps the big and ‘wicked’ problems, such as global warming.
In a nutshell, we need to step out of the box, bed, boat and many other B words, to have plans ambitious enough to have a high chance of success. As long as there is a bit of logic, Strategy is exactly what we need to sail us in the right direction. Be a pirate (sorry for this awful analogy) and find a bucket load of treasure to be rich with knowledge and create something meaningful, that answers all the world’s unanswered questions.