We business artists are blessed and cursed with a generative mind – the ability to come up with lots of ideas.
You may be feeling the effect of shifting cultural causes calling you to act. How do you find the time in an already profoundly packed schedule for your deep creative work?
Sunni Brown, named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, nailed the problem this way: “Discerning which opportunities to pursue has been a bogeyman in my creative work for years. I just couldn’t settle on the criteria for choosing.”
Finding time to do your most creative work is hard.
An optimal work-and-create flow is an extended period of time in which your mind and body are performing at their best when engaged in high-thinking and high-imagining tasks and projects. You sustain focus, your body’s fire stays stoked, your attitude flourishes, your imagination hangs from the monkey bars.
It’s pretty typical to get overwhelmed by obligations and tasks that don’t leave much time for the projects that light us up.
In light of today’s cultural causes, now more than ever you may be feeling called to act.
But most of us know that pulling all-nighters and pumping our bodies with caffeine does not an optimal work-and-create flow make. Read more
Research assistance from TW Team research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros.
Periodically Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros and I will curate some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via branding, storytelling, and innovation.
– Jeffrey, Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder
Connecting with People and Branding Comes Naturally
from The Times of India
In a media landscape of inauthentic messages, authentic branding will always rise above the noise, says Shubham Nagdeve. “Branding comes automatically when you connect with people,” Naresh Jakhotia reminds The Times of India. It’s through connection that a brand earns trust and defines its meaning. Small and large brands alike can benefit from genuinely connecting with clients to contribute value. Read more
Selling well doesn’t come naturally to most people with good ideas. To most, it feels gimmicky and inauthentic and manipulative. But it doesn’t have to follow the usual big-loud-buzz formula. In fact, the secret to selling is all about your customer. In the piece below, I share the secret to sales as shown to me by the example of my father, a successful radio advertising salesman and marketer.
Guest Post by Britt Bravo, Premium Consultant at Tracking Wonder
Note: Britt Bravo helps our clients shape their ideas into story-based brands and broadcast their message to the right audiences. Her local paper named her the “best podcaster and blogger most dedicated to social change.” She’s also mentoring a few people in our ArtMark™ Brand Story & Strategy program. I’m thrilled to have her on board the team and serving the TW Community. Find out more here: ArtMark™. – Jeffrey
I’ve never had a mentor to guide me on my career path. If you’re a woman, and haven’t had a mentor either, you’re not alone. According to a 2011 LinkedIn survey of almost 1,000 female professionals in the U.S., nearly one in five women have never had a mentor.
It’s not surprising to me that so many women haven’t been mentored. Few role models exist in American culture of women having mentors, and even fewer of women being mentors. Neo has Morpheus in The Matrix, Daniel has Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, and Luke has Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, but few heroines in American culture are depicted having mentors, especially female ones. Read more
If your frame of a leader is an ambitious extrovert driven by power and domination and big audacious change, then, you might not view yourself as a leader.
But Howard Gardner’s research and conclusions suggest that even if you’re more introverted and creatively driven by the craft of a good story you may have the makings of a leader and you might already be leading.
Howard Gardner is Co-Director of Project Zero (devoted to advancing arts learning as a serious cognitive activity) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – and is best known as a thought leader in multiple intelligences. Gardner changed the way I thought about intelligence and education back in the ‘90s with his books on multiple intelligences, the mind, and creativity. In his book Intelligence Reframed (Basic Books 1999), Gardner sums up his studies of creators and his studies of leaders. What surprised him was how much they have in common.
Leaders change the way numerous people think and act. That’s what influence is – that fundamental change. The most effective and wise leaders, Gardner notes, effect change via story in a two-fold way. Read more
We each see the world through our heritage of personality, experience, expertise, and values.
A software programmer develops her expertise. A doctor of integrated medicine develops his. A marketing specialist see the world and how to solve its problems through her lens, and an educator, through his.
Imagine they each are on the same interdisciplinary team of a big startup venture. It’s not an unfamiliar scenario.
How do they speak the same language in order to communicate, solve problems, and collaborate with momentum? What happens when their blossoming vision meets the reality of execution and market need?
I work and speak with accomplished professionals who fear standing out with their own ideas and who fear their own influence.
In these times especially, we need intelligent, dedicated, creative people – business artists of all stripes – to name and claim their influential ideas and contribute lasting value through their businesses and the conversations they lead.
Business artists matter. They need to stand up and stand out.
If you’ve worked for organizations, companies, or groups for many years, you might have met with great accomplishment. You also likely have a degree or two or three. A training certification or two or three. Now you want to test out your own ideas. What holds you back?
I suspect you’ve learned the value of going along and of doing a good job by others’ standards. You’ve learned the rules, followed them, exceeded expectations. You’re knowledgable, personable, hard-working, even-tempered. You’re respected. You’ve blended in.
With your experience and expertise, it’s even possible that you’ve ventured out as an independent consultant or professional. Again, you’ve learned the rules, exceeded expectations, gained accomplishments. Even on your own, though, maybe you’re playing it safe. And you’re keeping your ideas to yourself. Read more
I cry more often than you might think. It usually comes from feeling someone in pain more than admitting my own. Conversations and relationships plus music, art, film, books, and, yes, commercial videos turn on the tears for me.
My crying reflects back to me what I care about, what I stand for, what drives me.
My 7-year-old girl cries often, too. One January night last year, I gave her a brief overview of Martin (Michael) Luther King, Jr.’s life. As is par for her, the death fixated her curiosity. “Now why did he die? How did he die? Why did the man shoot him? That’s ridiculous. That’s just ridiculous to hate someone because of how they look.”
And then before bed she cried because of how MLK had died.
When I’m really honest with myself these days it’s both the knowledge of suffering and the conviction for something better for our world and, frankly, for my two girls that drives me. I do want to add my small verse to a world where we grown-ups can wonder and remember what is true, real, and beautiful.
I suspect something similar privately and deeply drives you, too.
Because here’s the deal, as I see it:
One view of our world in 2017 is that we as a species are becoming more and more hostile and divided, driven to distraction and despair.
Another view is that many of us are creating change – in big and small, large and quiet ways – in how we relate to each other, driven by conviction and ideals. Read more
The Fleeting Clap
You could make a long list of celebrities who attained fame and then wished to flee from it as if fame were pursuing them instead of the other way around. Fame can be the siren’s song that lures you into thinking you need heaps of applause and accolades to feel good about your work in the world. It is the veneer reflection of good work.
Chase after applause, and you measure success and contentment by how many and how loud. When the clapping stops, you leave yourself wide open to a chasm of disappointment or worse.
Here’s an interesting thing: When you chase after applause, you’re in such a hurry to gauge other people’s surface responses that you overlook the very thing that brings you abiding joy – the challenges of honing a craft, building an endeavor, improving a skill set, learning to do something brand new, and making something that in turn changes the way people think or feel or act.
It’s tough to resist this lure of instant mini-fame. It’s especially tough in a time when programmers who make apps and social media platforms know how to tap into our base needs for instant gratification. Like, Like, Like, Like.
We don’t need fame to thrive. We don’t need millions of people throwing accolades our way for our art or business or endeavor to make an impact and to make a return. Read more