Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes from places you expect, don’t expect, and come to expect. You have to be open to it. Defend it. And, on occasion, abandon it. Physics has been my muse for thinking about ways creative ideas might be better shepherded through an organization as we try to: Avoid concept death by committee. Avoid killing creativity through argument. Avoid ignoring the game changing idea. As I explored folks came to my rescue – building on concepts, offering encouragement, arguing kindly (and on occasion providing the needed fix). Very similar to the way discussions surrounding physics were described in Gilder’s Book. The discussion has spurred my thinking – and so this seemed like a good time to review where we are at. Strategies for Probing and Testing Ideas without Killing Them Thought experiments were a favorite of Einstein and Bohr in part because they help you to think … Continue reading
Dr. Kantor over at HarvardPublishing.org calls for everyone to be in marketing during a recession. I agree completely, but for those who know how I rant my next question is obvious: Why only ‘in a recession’? Driving the marketing discipline through your organization creates entanglements with customers deep down in the soul. It affects creativity in ways that are profound. Just think what would happen if your customer and prospects became an intimate part of your org chart. Creative chaos or intimate understanding? Ah well, since we are in a recession I guess it is a worthy call to arms. Let’s just try avoid departmentalizing marketing once the economy is on a roll again.
I think the word ‘entanglement’ may be the best single word description of marketing at its best – no matter what your specialty. The word ‘entangle’ intrigues me. In physics it describes a mysterious connection that exists beyond visible physical contact. Imagine its meaning in marketing: Mutual Long Term Influence Even At Great Distance! We wish to increase customer entanglement. We need to be entangled with our co-workers. We entangle ourselves in the community around us. This is much more than a simple person-to-person or company-to-person relationship. It is mutual influence, dependence, respect, listening, griping, praising, changing, helping, learning. Entanglement is the ultimate feedback loop. In physics – when you measure one entangled particle that somehow determines the state of the other. (Simplified, I know – if you can say it better please do!) In marketing it is multiple, multiple-way connections. Whether in person, over the net, via tweets, during a … Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about lessons we can take from the physics community to more successfully develop ideas — and I’ve been wearing mismatched socks. I blame Louisa Gilder and her wonderful exploration into the weird path physics took towards accepting entanglement over the past century. In 1964 John Bell lit a small fire at the foundations of modern physics using timber put in place by Einstein 30 years prior. It launched a few investigations but in truth mostly smoldered for another 17 years until he stated the implications of his theory a bit differently. He spoke about Bertlmann’s Socks. “Dr. Bertlmann likes to wear two socks of different colors. Which color he will have on a given foot on a given day is quite unpredictable. But when you see that the first sock is pink you can be already sure that the second sock will not be pink. Observation of … Continue reading
Many business ideas die as much from neglect as from hostility. Breakthrough concepts are dismissed by influencers who show disbelief when ideas do not fit their current world view. Ideas are left to stew and ripen outside mainstream business thought — only to burst on the scene and disrupt whole economies seemingly out of no-wheresville. We all have ways of ignoring breakthrough ideas, many demonstrated in The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Rebornby Louisa Gilder. Illustrating the winding road taken by the physics community in understanding entanglement, it shows how even the most brilliant can dismiss, ignore and argue against ideas that seem to break foundational beliefs. How can you avoid being blindsided by an idea you had all along? Breakthrough ideas challenge the status quo. Often the status quo does everything it can to brick over the door your idea is trying to open. The idea of … Continue reading