Friday, April 8, 2011


Image borrowed from
Where they got it from I really don't know.
I love conferences. Especially good ones like Schmart Marketing in Sydney last week.

Great talent. Fab venue. And excellent canapés.

The highpoint for mine was Todd Sampson’s presentation which, even though it was titled Combining creativity, idea generation, leadership, culture change, Earth Hour, problem solving, innovation, climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, bravery and adventure, was really about fear.  

The central theme being that fear of the unknown, of failure, and of looking bad have led to plummeting creative IQs in business. Successful businesses and leaders, however, almost by definition, know how to manage creativity and these institutionalised fears.

As Todd puts it, he’s successful not because he’s braver than anyone else (he has climbed Everest, mind you), but simply because he stays brave a little bit longer than those around him.

He asserts that as little as five extra minutes of garden-variety bravery enables him to make decisive, creative choices in the face of fear. So while others are backing away from the risky rock face of innovation, staying brave a tad longer can get you to the summit by routes never before attempted.

Cue awesome Apple Think Different TVC from forever ago.

Brilliant, isn’t it?

In a nice piece of synchronicity, the ensuing session by Boost Juice’s Janine Allis ended with a quote from one of the original crazy ones - Albert Einstein:

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

This is precisely what gets people up Everest.

Now, I can’t imagine Einstein cracked the E = mc2 conundrum by giving it an extra five minutes.

But then again, it’s all relative, isn’t it, Todd?

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad to have found your blog! I love the humor you inject into your writing!

    This is a timely message for me... so true that it is those who stay with a problem just a little longer that succeed in life. I often feel a little crazy, a round peg in a square hole and have even been called a trouble maker. But I hope to be remembered as an Innovator or at least an early adapter. Sounds like Schmart was a great conference. Thanks for sharing!!!!