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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

"If you act like a sheep, you'll get slaughtered" ... and how would you like to get better ideas?

Most of this will only interest you if you're in business and you want to do better, so scroll down if you just read my stuff for laughs.

The first part of today's heading comes from Rowan Gormley's talk yesterday at EADIM. He pointed out that doing what everyone else does is the quick route to disaster - and made some pretty cutting remarks about the way many businesses operate - and fail.

He had us all in fits of laughter describing his one-day career in accountancy, his work setting up three businesses with Richard Branson and one on his own. Mostly, he discussed his mistakes. He claimed he had made more than anyone in the audience. He should have asked me ... and I forgot to ask him how he got Jamie Oliver to work with him at Naked Wines, his latest venture.

But what he said about what worked and didn't in the businesses he has founded and run made us all think - especially about the catastrophic results of going to big database and direct marketing agencies - who nearly ruined him with needless segmentation and lunatic creative ideas.

I then came on and my usual selection of old jokes about animals and teenagers plus a goodly helping of glimpses of the obvious made him look a lot better then me - because he is. Things picked up a lot when Marta Caricato managed to make the subject of planning not only clear and interesting, but funny.

But the BIG surprise of the day was from a client of ours whom I invited at the last minute. Chris Griffiths offers the only authorised on-line version of Tony Buzan's mindmapping.

Chris - who was already a highly successful entrepreneur - turned down millions in financing to work on this for ten long years and what he showed had an audience who should have been snoozing after very long day really sit up and pay attention.

For example: did you know that NASA research shows a 5 year old is 98% highly creative ... whilst a 25 years old is only 2% highly creative? Did you know that doodling during a presentation doubles your chance of remembering things?

And you certainly don't know that I'm filming all this stuff - so if interests you, keep reading tomorrow.

Did I promise you a joke?

The Funeral Procession

A man was leaving a convenience store with his morning coffee when he
noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby

A long black hearse was followed by a second long black hearse about 50 feet behind the first one.

Behind the second hearse was a solitary man walking a dog on a leash.

Behind him, a short distance back, were about 200 men walking single file.

The man couldn't stand the curiosity. He respectfully approached the man
walking the dog and said, 'I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be
a bad time to disturb you, but I've never seen a funeral like this.
Whose funeral is it?'

'My wife's'.

'What happened to her?'

The man replied, 'My dog attacked and killed her'

He inquired further, 'But who is in the second hearse?'

The man answered, 'My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my wife
when the dog turned on her.'

A poignant and thoughtful moment of silence passed between the two men.

'Can I borrow the dog?'

The man replied, 'Get in line.'

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