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Andy Eklund
Sydney, Australia and Chicago, USA
A Blog About How People Create and Communicate Their Ideas
Interests: Communications and Public Relations, Business Creativity and Brainstorming, Presentation Skills, Strategic Facilitation, Executive Communications Training, LEGO® Serious Play™, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, Team Management Systems®, GENOS® Emotional Intelligence, Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process®, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument®
Recent Activity
Hi Mary, good Q. I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I've used all different types of characters: real, fiction and a mix of both. For a preso to change banking habits, we created "Dale," a small business owner in Melbourne. We combined stock photo footage with a branch manager's actual desired demo/psychographics of a real customer in his area. Our story was Dale unable to get an instant loan on a Saturday to win a big piece of business. For a women's shoe line, we created 50-year old "Dinah" entirely from a client's exhaustive demo/psychographics research. Our story was her frustration at not finding a shoe that didn't look like she had orthopaedic problems. For a whiskey, we used a friend's actual persona, right down to actual pix of him in his favourite pub in Sydney, and his quest for the "perfect Fri night" with his best mates. To me, the key is as much finding the right character who is 100% credible/believable, as finding a realistic story about how they perceive their lives. I think too when the team has a real sense of the audience - not just a bunch of statistics - their natural energy and personality come out in the presentation.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2013 on How To Tell A Story at Creative Streak
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Of course a librarian would love a good story :)
Toggle Commented May 23, 2013 on How To Tell A Story at Creative Streak
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What a brilliant thought, thank you. Just to clarify: use SCAMPER to come up with the original set of potential ideas based on the theme or problem, then apply SCAMPER a second time, to each individual idea (or ideas) to expand and drill down even further. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Your great suggestion reminds me of the Lotus Blossom, another creative tool I'm going to feature in a few days. Jim, many thanks again for the suggestion.
Toggle Commented May 16, 2013 on Creative Techniques: SCAMPER at Creative Streak
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I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck with your creative endeavours!
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Most of us can be strategic and creative, but it's also important to know when we're doing either - and understanding if that's the right mode of thinking. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
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I couldn't agree more about your point "they may have different expectations." Good communications should be both clear and transparent. Thanks for your comments.
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Good luck!
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I can see why you think that, although it wouldn't be difficult to make a case that knowledge can also be logical and based on reasoning. My point was to show that it's good to be knowledgeable about many subjects, but it's even more important HOW you use that knowledge to make ideas. People say "knowledge is power," but it's not. It's how you use that knowledge: that's the real power. Your great question reminded me of an anecdote one of my first professors said. "Information" is all of the food stuffs in the world. "Knowledge" is the distinct foods you select to make a good meal. "Intelligence" is the difference in how you combine and cook the ingredients to make the meal superb.
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I think that works for pretty much any task! Except operating heavy machinery, of course. I'm in Sydney next month. Any chance of a catch-up live?
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2012 on Creativity, Inspired at Creative Streak
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Thanks Liz. Good to hear from you, and glad you enjoyed it.
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Something else I've noticed is how 'creative directors' now are less knowledgeable about the actual creative process, and far more likely to be experts in digital and social media. I don't think that's bad per se, but personally, I think brainstorms are better run and more effective if they are led by an a trained creative facilitator who's helped the client team to select a good cross-purpose team of participants, esp those with digital/social experience. Instead, brainstorms run by digital experts come out top-heavy on digital events. As the phrase goes, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2012 on The Suits vs. The Creatives at Creative Streak
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I absolutely agree. The word "context" is key. Sometimes digging a deep hole is the right behaviour. Sometimes digging many holes to unearth different answers is the right behaviour. I also think of it this way: I shift from linear to lateral thinking when the answer in front of me isn't working any longer, and I shift from lateral to linear thinking when I've found the best solution among many options.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2012 on Is Linear Thinking Bad? at Creative Streak
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Sarah, your point about authenticity is fantastic. As you say, it's not about you - it's about bringing value to the audience, not about your own motives. It also increases your credibility with the audience, which in turn, also helps to manage nerves and anxiousness.
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Csikszentmihalyi's 1996 book is great, but more so, I also recommend "Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life." It absolutely touches on the points you make in your comment. Many thanks. Andy
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Absolutely, a necessary addition. (Thanks too for the good laugh.)
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Absolutely agree: all brainstorms should be followed with something that sets out responsibilities and roles. Something else I've noticed in the past few months: sometimes the person assigned to the brainstorm's next steps gets re-assigned, or transferred to new responsibilities - and the brainstorm itself becomes a casualty. I've never figured out why it isn't included with all of the other assignments transferred to the new person. Another of life's many wonders. Hmm.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2010 on Bits & Bytes, May 29 at Creative Streak
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Andy Eklund is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
The telephony definition of a "party line" ... a colleague who sits next to me (born in 1976) simply couldn't understand how something like this was ever possible. Indeed. "A local telephony loop, shared by as many as 16 different residences or business customers. Distinctive ringing comprising various combinations of short and long rings distinguishes whether a call was for you, or for another person on the shared line. There is no privacy on a party line, as any party can pick up the phone and answer the call or listen in on it. Placing outgoing calls was a free-for-all, as the caller must pick up the phone to determine if the line is available before placing the call. If someone else is using the line, the process must be repeated again and perhaps again and again in hopes that the line eventually will be available. Party lines are now rare in the United States, but not uncommon in rural areas in developing countries." A party line was also my undoing as a kid. My grandma used to be on our party line, and she frequently overheard me talking with friends about our plans on a Friday or Saturday nite ... and of course who report me back to my parents. Andy
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Andy Eklund has shared their blog Creative Streak
May 3, 2009