“We’re all together. We’re all in the lead roles, I guess. I don’t have a supporting cast. We’re all the same.”

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-Kevin Durant, forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA

Sure, there will be standout individuals at your organization, like Durant for the Thunder. But, if s/he can elevate the performance of others, recognizing that they too contribute towards the success of the whole, then you have an organization that’s on the cusp of doing great things.*

*a solid product, service or idea is also critical

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“Everybody loves to think of the title, not a lot of people are willing to write the book.”

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New Yorker who is transitioning to the corporate world after owning a business

Yes! What a wonderfully simple, yet clear way of expressing the challenge that so many of us face. Coming up with ideas is often the easy part; and there are always others willing to tell you what they think you should do. The hard part is, whether you are alone or with partners, to actually do the work necessary to bring the idea to life, and then not just sustain the idea, but to grow it.

“Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood.”

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– Jeff Bezos, internet entrepreneur and investor

Commitment to your idea. Courage to go against the grain. These and more characteristics are summed up in Jeff Bezos’ description of what it takes to invent. The same holds true when trying to build a business or launch a new marketing effort. If you believe in it, you just sometimes need to be stubborn-enough to persist in order to find eventual success.

“To understand performance, it is important to consider not only current measures but also the trajectory of change.”

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– From McKinsey’s “How to make a great city” 2013 report

To analyze the effectiveness of a marketing effort and then tell its story, you need to understand both the context and the path of the actions taken by your audience. Otherwise, by just looking at absolute numbers, you may miss out on uncovering some valuable observations that can impact how you move forward.

“Know your role. Do your job.”

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– numerous sports coaches

Whether your a football player, a volunteer at an organization, or an employee, we all need to understand what our purpose is so that we actively work towards achieving a common organizational objective. The best brands create a culture where all individuals utilize their unique skills in a collaborative manner to move the organization forward.

“Creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget. If you cut two zeros, it’s much better.”

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– Jaime Lerner, former three-time mayor of Curitiba and two-time governor of Parana in Brazil, architect and urban planner

Marketing budgets are always limited, and often get cut. The more we’re willing to plan for the worst, the more likely we’ll focus efforts on identifying and delivering creative and cost effective solutions with staying power.