Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Creativity Tip: Don't DIY

Over the years, I've received a number of compliments regarding my title: Chief Creative Instigator. My response is to smile broadly, try to look both creative and instigative, and say, "Thank you." Rarely, do I say, "Thank you. I didn't come up with it. Mike Brown did."

So, for those of you who like the title: "Thank you. I didn't come up with it. Mike Brown did."

Mike is a nationally known speaker on strategy, innovation and cool business topics (check out Among other responsibilities, he handles strategic market research for YRC Worldwide, a Fortune 500 company. He is also an essential member of my creative team.

Who's on your team? When you're trying to come up with the perfect title, a different approach, an acceptable idea for dinner, who do you ask for advice? My tip for the day: Ask someone. Don't Do It Yourself. And to get really creative input, ask someone unexpected. A four-year-old. Your significant other. The colleague with the candy dish. Take their advice, or use it as a jumpstart. Either way, you both win.

P.S. Did DIY start with the unfortunate idea of self service gas stations? And how can we call it "service" if I have to do it myself? And if I was interested in self service, would I be married? (Ah, but that's a different post, isn't it?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jan - Here's an interesting example of not using DIY - an author asking for help in coming up with a new book title.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Small []
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 1:29 AM
To: Brown, Mike
Subject: Steve Farber’s New Book – help him land on a snappy title

As a fan of Steve Farber’s work I’m shooting you this email to see if you can help Steve come up with a snappy title to his next book

If you read Steve’s blog you may have noticed a posting called Greater Than Yourself (GTY). It was picked up by Tom Peters and heralded as groundbreaking. Well, this new concept in leadership development is soon to become a book by Random House.

Steve is currently holed up in a remote location laboring over book but he needs your help. Would you take two minutes and cast your vote for a title of his new book?

Here is a link to the online survey through

On behalf of Steve and Team Farber – thank you in advance for your vote.

All the best,

Kevin Small
Team Farber