Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Whose Idea is Finest of them All?

March 28, 2012

Creative people love ideas – especially their own.  We all pay more attention to an idea that someone passionately champions, so a certain amount of creative vanity is useful for getting an idea noticed.  But creative arrogance blinds us to the value of others’ ideas, especially those proposed by people we don’t know.  Just as there’s a magical alchemy in the creative process among collaborators, there is suspiciousness and dismissiveness toward ideas from outsiders.

Such parochialism is not what creativity today demands.  Global business challenges require the collective brain power of diverse minds, and tapping such thinkers means trusting ideas from many sources.  The success of Mindfire, Ketchum’s crowd sourcing community, makes a solid argument for opening up the creative process.  Tackling impossibly tight deadlines and divergent creative challenges, Mindfire’s global community of university students have been providing breathtakingly fresh perspectives and solutions to inspire Ketchum’s clients. Participating clients have embraced and implemented some of the best ideas from “the crowd.” This week Mindfire received special recognition — winning Product of the Year in the SABRE competition, beating many tough competitors.  The judges, presumably, recognized the vitality of a brainpower collective.

Despite our victory, we still face hurdles convincing smart colleagues and clients to regard outside thinking like they would inside thinking.  We know intuitively that ideas come from many places, and only an open mind allows us to fall in love with someone else’s idea.  Mindfire is a community of great thinkers you may not know personally whose ideas and imaginations are worthy of adoration.

Continue loving your own ideas, but try falling for someone else’s too – even if it’s someone you’ve never met.

To learn more about Mindfire or tap our community for your next creative challenge, visit us at: http://www.ketchum.com/mindfire.

Karen loves winning trophies for clients, believing awards affirm how much strategy and creativity matter. As Ketchum’s chief strategy and creativity officer, as well as co-lead of Ketchum’s 50+ specialty, she is an evangelist for courage and creativity in communication, and she ensures strategic discipline and creative liberation for the firm’s global network of planners. Her devotion to studying human behavior, crowdsourcing creative ideas and working across silos have contributed to Ketchum winning more awards for clients than any other PR firm. Some of her initiatives include the creation of Mindfire, Ketchum’s crowdsourcing site for fueling creative ideas; the Ketchum Creative Community and related Passion Panels to solve client challenges; and the Ketchum Media Optimizer, the first media planning discipline in the public relations business. As a member of the small minority of female agency creative chiefs, Karen is on a mission to inspire and empower more women to take on lead creative roles.