A key element of a successful business strategy is originality, which can only be fueled by creativity and intuition. Many business leaders are taught to develop strategies by analyzing case study after case study of other companies’ already implemented strategies, and using those studies as a framework for developing their own strategic plans. However, in order to develop truly great strategies, business leaders must learn to tap into their own creative process and develop actionable strategies based on their intuition and instincts.
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What is "Creative Strategy?"
The term “creative strategy” is generally used in two different contexts. In some instances, it is applied to the topic of developing a strategy specifically for a creative field – usually with respect to advertising or marketing communications. Other times, it is used to describe an overall business strategy that is creative in nature or, more specifically, that will result in some type of unique and emotionally important output. The book, Creative Strategy Generation wholly embraces the latter of these definitions; and here’s the reason why, as told by its author, Bob Caporale:
“In the context of the term “creative strategy,” when we use the word “creative” as an attributive noun rather than as an adjective, it indicates that we’re developing a strategy for one function (usually marketing) that is uniquely creative above all others. Yes, marketing is a creative function – but, then again, so is engineering, sales, operations, or just about any other discipline that invariably contributes to the overall success of a business. In this way, it’s not the activities of any singular “creative” department or function that we should be focusing on but, rather, the entire holistic process of achieving some overall business objective in a new and creative way.”
“It’s for this reason that I prefer to define a “creative strategy” as a strategy that is creative in nature or, said differently, one that has been developed using some type of creative process. The idea is that a creative process will lead to a creative output – which can be in the form of a new product, a new service, or a new way of doing business. In this context, using the word “creative” as an adjective opens the creative strategist up to entirely new possibilities that are not just limited to the way in which a product or service is advertised or promoted.”
Using this definition as a foundation, Creative Strategy Generation shows us how to build a unique business strategy using a 7-step creative process. These just happen to be the same steps used to write a piece of music, create a new piece of art, or produce just about any other creative output that you can think of. They are:
1. Preparation – Drawing upon your training, skills, research, and observation
2. Inspiration – Knowing what you hope to achieve and what is ultimately driving you
3. Genre – Understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience
4. Ideation – Coming up with the core ideas that you want to express
5. Arrangement – Building a story to help you express your ideas
6. Orchestration – Bringing together resources to help you tell your story
7. Production – Producing your final work of art
Creative Strategy Generation arms readers with all the tools they need to develop holistic business strategies that are creative in nature, rather than solely focusing that creativity on any one specific function or discipline. This ensures that everyone in the organization, not just the marketing department, will be responsible for generating creative strategic results.
If you want to learn more about how you can compose your own uniquely creative business strategies, please check out the book, Creative Strategy Generation: Using Passion and Creativity to Compose Business Strategies That Inspire Action and Growth – available on amazon.com or by visiting sequentlearning.com. To learn more about the author, please visit bobcaporale.com or follow him on Twitter at @bobcaporale.
Bob Caporale is President of Sequent Learning Networks, a training and advisory firm focused on product management, product marketing, and strategic planning. He has more than 20 years of experience developing product, portfolio, and business unit strategies for large international corporations, both as an advisor and as an executive practitioner. Bob is an acclaimed thought leader on the subjects of strategic planning, product management, and business leadership. He uniquely draws upon a combination of diverse experiences as both a corporate leader and a musician/composer to explore the marriage of art and science within the business world. His goal is to help business practitioners infuse more passion and creativity into their jobs.