A few years back I was ensconced in a drab, ill-lit conference room meeting with my client’s brand-new vice president of marketing.
He wore his cocksure attitude like a bow-tie and made sure I knew he was a graduate of an Ivy League business school. Looking me dead in the eye, with a completely straight face, he proclaimed:
“You’ll find I have a unique approach that you won’t find with other marketing leaders. I put value in two things: data and measurement.”
It took the will of 10 men not to roll my eyes.
Because quite frankly there are very few vice presidents of marketing who didn’t enjoy wallowing in data and measurement like a pig in a mud pit.
You know what would have been refreshing? If he had said:
“You’ll find I have a unique approach that you won’t find with other marketing leaders. I put my value in two things: creativity and results.”
You know what you get when you place a premium on creativity?
- Pulitzer Prizes
- Nobel Prizes
- Moon landings
- Leaves of Grass
- The Declaration of Independence
- 12 Angry Men
- Led Zeppelin
You get the picture (and feel free to add to the list).
Creativity unlocks greatness. The results are putting the creativity into to action (writing the book, building the rocket ship, engineering the device, filming the movie…).
No one ever achieved greatness measuring things, unless, of course, you are William Seward Burroughs.
Data and measurement have their place, but they should be lower on the totem pole. They should not be front and center. Creativity and results need to be in the pole positions. They are much better – and get you more.
And guess what? Creativity is a lot more fun than analyzing flow charts.