Easter Creativity

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world.  But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
~Walt Disney.

First of all, Happy Easter, He is risen.

Ever get into a discussion of creativity with one of those, “I’m the creative one around here,” or “all creativity comes from one department?”

Well, it’s wrong.  Creativity and creative people are all around you.  I’m fortunate enough to work in a place heavily populated with creativity, as this video about Easter shows.

The author, writer, and producer, Mark Ornelas isn’t in radio programming or marketing, but his creativity and communication skills are unmistakable.

When it comes to creativity, my mind always wanders over to Walt Disney.  The man was not only creative, but he was so “systematically.”  He established a framework of producing creativity through the lens of three roles.

The Dreamer has the visionary, big picture role.  This is where ideas start.

The Realist is the one who thinks constructively and devises an action plan for the vision.

The Critic (the most familiar role) tests the idea, looks for problems and unintended consequences.

The best ideas come when all three roles are present, but that’s not what typically happens.  If the roles are completely separate instead of a continuum, they fight each other.  Some say that all three roles can be handled by one person, but I know more people who think they are that person than are.  The best creativity necessitates all three roles being involved.

So one of three things happens.  We tilt to one role or the other roles, and miss the totality, bringing about a “good idea” that goes nowhere.  Or we outsource our creativity and innovation to people who have convinced us they are that three-in-one person.  Lastly, we just stop being creative – we give up on even trying to be more creative.

Creativity isn’t a department or a person, and it’s not a collection of good ideas that, in the end, don’t “put points on the scoreboard” at all.  They’re just cool ideas.

Mark and his video showed me that creativity isn’t that elusive, it’s right under our noses if we look for it.

Frost Advisory #357 – Easter Sunday And A Lesson From The Umbrella Man

I arrived at Easter Sunday church during a torrential Florida downpour.  Streets were flooding and the church parking lot looked like it could host a water ski tournament.

As I jumped out of my car and headed for the church building I was greeted by a friendly young man in rain gear carrying an umbrella.  He greeted me with a paradoxical sunny disposition and walked me from my car to the covered walk way.  He then ran off to greet the next apprehensive still-dry visitor.

No message from the pulpit that Easter morning could have conveyed their welcome attitude as much as the selfless act from the man with the umbrella.

“To move an audience, especially a diverse audience, from where they are to where you want them to be requires common ground.  If you want me to follow you on a journey, you have to come get me.  The journey must begin where I am, not where you are or where you think I should be.”
~Andy Stanley

To grow you must leave the comfort of your station, run out to the new listener with an umbrella and say, “Welcome!”; meet them where they are, understand their interests and values, and communicate to them in their language.  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  But more often than not we simply aren’t willing to get wet.

John Maxwell said, “People will not always remember what you said.  They will not always remember what you did.  But they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Tommy Kramer Tip #201 – What TV Can Learn From Radio, And Vice-Versa

You would think that TV and Radio are like brothers or cousins, each putting out their product with an all-encompassing view of what the experience is like from the viewer’s or listener’s perspective.

And you would be wrong.

In reality, TV doesn’t care enough (if at all) about SOUND.  In my experience of coaching many television air talents, it’s pretty much all about what it LOOKS like.  The end result is usually a bunch of talking heads reading words from teleprompters that real people would never say in an actual conversation.  (“The alleged suspect was apprehended” instead of “they caught the guy.”)  But the time they could use to rewrite it gets spent on their hair and makeup.

Radio, for the most part, doesn’t care enough about the PICTURES it’s creating.  Sure, the best talents are all about “word pictures,” but way too often nowadays, in the era of voice-trackers that don’t even live in the market the station is in, they just put a “smile” in their delivery and read things.  Ick.

If TV personalities thought more about the WORDS they’re saying, they’d be more three-dimensional.  And if radio personalities thought more about creating a PICTURE in the listener’s mind instead of just giving information, they’d draw that listener closer every single day.

Just because you’re ON doesn’t mean that people are actually paying attention to you.  You EARN that.  Or not.  Your choice.

Frost Advisory #356 – The Search For The Silver Bullet

We added a new jingle package and our ratings went up!

We ran that new promotion and our ratings went down.

I know of a general manager that wanted to change the shifts of the deejays based upon weekly or monthly ratings.  I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Our minds crave simplicity.  We crave the Silver Bullet.

“People are drawn to black and white opinions because they are simple, not because they are true.  Truth demands serious effort and thought.”
~Donald Miller

Correlation v. causation

“Every time we see a link between an event or action with another, what comes to mind is that the event or action has caused the other.”

That’s causation.

On the other hand “correlation is an action or occurrence that can be linked to another,” but “linking one thing with another does not always prove that the result has been caused by the other.”

Our desire for simplicity drives us to conclude that one thing causes another simply because they occurred at the same time.

Our biases cause us to value things we know, mostly things inside the radio station, and to undervalue what we don’t know, mostly things outside the station.

Successful radio stations strive not for answers that are simple, but answers that are true.

But, darn it, that demands effort and thought.