By Nick Lindo
Three Straplines We Can Learn From.
As I embrace my new life at SCA I am trying to hard-wire three philosophies into my every-day inspired by simple ideas from big brands.
Get Some Nuts.
At SCA we’re supposed to play – to be free and do what we want to in order to liberate our creative potential. The stupidest thing that comes to mind is as valid as the most logical – after all you never know which idea will be your winning one.
It sounds great doesn’t it? Well yes it is, except playing the child takes some working at. As adults we’re well-rehearsed in wearing our protective masks to save us from a damaged ego and embarrassment. Every ounce of our chimp wants to play but as pack animals we fear ostracism and so restrain urges.
Yesterday morning we did a “Mock the Week” style exercise. (You respond to a title on the board by standing up in front of the class and making a relevant joke.) Over three topics I didn’t go up once. My brain started to filter thoughts that risked judgement and I froze. After the improvisation class and the morning blues solo singing I’ve been through, this felt like a massive fail. But more importantly it made me feel that in that moment I was missing the point – If I can feel free enough to make an idiot of myself in front of the class imagine how free I’ll be to conjure ideas when we get down to the serious stuff.
Come on Nick – Get some nuts.
Just do it.
Last Thursday we were sent on agency visits. I was lucky enough to be part of the group sent to Ogilvy where we met, amongst others, Nicole Yershon. Nicole is a doer. She “brought Ogilvy into the 21st century” (read Dave Trott’s blog – generally as well as this one specifically) by getting things done – even if it meant she had to be the annoying one, the one who nagged and shoved and fought for a change she knew would have a positive impact on her environment.
And for me that’s why we’re at SCA. Every second we’re surrounded by diverse talent and experience that only a tiny minority have access to. And if we can’t make things happen here – real things – then what chance do we stand in the future? The creative process is incomplete without a final product or else it remains just another idea that may have been great.
So yea – learn to ignore that thing that tells you “you can do it later” or “you’re not in the right mood for it now” – just do it.
Have a break.
Only 9 days in and we’re moving on to our 4th brief. Weekends are shrinking and those extra 20 minutes snoozing in bed already feel slightly less justified. According to Marc this is SCA working at 10%. And fair enough – if we’re going to squeeze every drop of use out of this insane course we are going to have to learn to work our mammaries off.
I’ve quickly realised though that effort and productivity are two very different things. With the pressure of failure and a deadline looming it feels wrong to run off to the shops for a quick snack. Or even to just put the whole thing down until tomorrow. Paradoxically, not working is sometimes the best option – it allows you to approach the problem with a fresh perspective and recharged motivation.
That 10 minute break can be equally important as the rest of it.
Work has not even started and to be honest I’m in no position to be dishing out advice – but I’m hoping that these three golden rules, which seem to pop up all over the place will help to prevent stress and panic before they have a chance to grab hold.