Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How to Do 'Riskier' Work

Or: Who Cares If Your Ideas Are Brilliant If You Can't Sell Them?

Back in April Sally Hogshead gave six speeches in five days in four cities. They varied from a half-day brand workshop in Milwaukee to a tech conference in Northern California, with audiences ranging from venture capitalists to marketing executives.

Yet no matter what the industry, the topic or the geography, she was asked the very same question: "How do I sell riskier ideas?"

The question's wording varied, but the point was the same: The client/boss/board of directors kills new thinking that's deemed "risky." Now, these audience members aren't scheming to sell wacky, perilous, ill-conceived ideas for the sake of being creative, but rather smarter, fresher, more relevant ways of finding and connecting with consumers.

Problem is, in business, risk doesn't work like that.

Business isn't a coin with "risk" on one side and "security" on the other; it's a two-headed coin and that head is risk. Not taking a risk is risky. And if you take a risk, well, that's risky too. The landscape is changing so quickly that we must literally invent as we go. There are no off-the-rack solutions anymore. Today, the opposite of risk isn't security. The opposite of risk is getting run over by a truck filled with a shipment of status quo while you dawdle in the middle of the road.

So, what have you got to lose? Read the whole thing over at Ad Week: How to Do 'Riskier' Work.

That's Right,