don’t just like it, LOVE it!

Andy Warhol was clearly a visionary artist and thinker… but did you also realise he could see into the future too!? It might be very easy for his other more noted art work to have overshadowed this ability, but the fact is, he saw into the future and summarised one of todays primary social media companies (Facebook) raison d’être very succinctly…

‘I think everybody should like everybody’
Andy Warhol

Is ‘Like’ a meaningless default emotional response?

Is ‘Like’ a meaningless default emotional response?

Or, is it that Facebook is simply trying to bring to life one of Andy Warhol’s philosophies…

‘During the 1960’s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don’t think they’ve ever remembered’ – The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

It appears that Facebook and marketeers worldwide would want us to believe that as individuals, companies or even international brands, the ultimate emotional response to elicit from any given item or event, is to simply ‘like’ it. In this ever-expanding age of social media, ‘sharing’ and ‘connecting’ seems to be the primary goal and buzz that companies and brands often aspired to, but is simply being liked by as many people as possible, sufficient an emotional response or interaction to aspire to?

is like the emotional response to aim for?

is like the emotional response to aim for?

‘It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.’
Andre Gide

The word ‘like’ to me, is at best bland, at worst, often wholly inappropriate in the social media context. At Passion 4, our ambition for any work or project we are involved with, is that people totally love it, rather than just simply like it. If our ambition was just for it to be liked, it would be setting our bar of ambition pretty low!

nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion

nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion

‘Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion’
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Having a passion for what you do is a vital driving force if you want what you do to avoid falling into the trap of bland mediocrity. Sir Jonathan Ive recently owned up to an Apple secret;

‘We absolutely don’t do focus groups. That’s designers and leaders abdicating responsibility. That’s them looking for an insurance policy, so if something goes wrong, they can say, well this focus group says that only 30% of people are offended by this and, look, 40% think it’s OK.’ All a focus group guarantees, is mediocrity’

Mediocrity is the enemy of creativity, it lacks ambition. It avoids taking risks, it fears failure rather than embracing the lessons it can bring. It adds unnecessary layers of complexity by trying to please everybody. Creativity however is refreshingly simple!

‘Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity’Charles Mingus

Thanks for taking the time out to read this, as always, it is much appreciated! Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments you might have on it…

Chris

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To make a big improvements, start with the small things…

‘A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step’
(1904 – sayings of Lao Tzu)

The 2012 Olympic legacy can be sporting or personal, what will it mean to you?

The 2012 Olympic legacy can be sporting or personal, what will it mean to you?

Quite a famous saying; so famous in fact that the principle it tries to convey, can easily be overlooked or simply taken for granted. Big things rarely happen overnight, it is normally a case of building on a series of smaller steps until the bigger end goal is finally reached.

Now that both the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are sadly over, it struck us just how much creativity and business both have in common with sport. In particular, we were fascinated by the transformation of Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic cycling teams over the last few Olympic games.

Much of this transformation has been credited to TeamGB cycling performance director Dave Brailsford who has championed the phrase ‘The aggregation of marginal gains’.

By this he was referring to the concept of taking 1% from everything you do; and then finding a 1% margin for improvement in everything you do.

Marginal gains have resulted in massive performance gains by Team GB’s Olympic cycling squad

Marginal gains have resulted in massive performance gains by Team GB’s Olympic cycling squad

It sounds very simply, and possibly not that much of an inspirational target or mission to try to achieve? But it is in this simplicity, that the brilliance of Brailsfords mantra lies. Rather than set potentially unrealistic or unachievable big figure performance gains, this approach gives a much wider range of achievable (and thus more motivational) targets.

It also opened the focus up on to every single aspect of what the team were doing, from the obvious to the not so obvious. Nutrition, training, technology, clothing, components, processes, strategy, etc. Each aspect was scrutinised and examined in microscopic detail to see if that 1% gain could be found and built upon.

The resulting tiny percentage gains, although on the surface may seem insignificant in themselves  cumulatively they can add up to large gain – potentially a race-winning, or record-winning, gain. If the results of Team GB’s cycling Olympic champions are anything to go by, this very inspiring, yet simple philosophy has already brought a lasting transformation.

This fascinated us, and we could not help but wonder if the same principles could also be applied within the creative and business environments as well? Surely there is always plenty of opportunity to make 1% improvements in all that we do?

Post Olympics, the talk is now all about creating a ‘lasting legacy’ from the games. This can be taken to mean many things to many people, but from a business perspective, the Olympics legacy for us, is to take on board Dave Brailsfords phrase ‘The aggregation of marginal gains’ so that in all that Passion 4 is involved with, we will continually seek to make small improvements in every single aspect of all that we do…