I've always been interested in the whole concept of creativity, thinking and doing things in new and different (and sometimes better) ways. I've met Creative Directors who were anything but creative and CFO's who were a little too creative (if you know what I mean -- does Enron ring a bell).
Andy Stefanovich is the founder and person in charge of what's next at PLAY, a innovation/creativity consulting company that works with some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world. I heard him speak this morning at the Hanover Business Council breakfast. This is a sub-group of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (Richmond, Virginia). About 40 or so were in attendance. Every male in the room was dressed in a suit and tie. And Andy? He had on a pair of dirty jeans, a worn black t-shirt and a black baseball cap. Impressive, huh?!
But with Andy it just doesn't seem to matter. His creativity, energy, enthusiasm, insight and emotion drive you beyond the external (suits versus jeans) and encourages his audience to "look at more stuff" and "think about it harder" (even when he's constantly dropping the names from his impressive Fortune 100 client list).
My original point was going to be that Andy is sometimes a little too creative (he was definitely under-dressed for his audience and his talk went in several directions at once, seemingly coming stream of conscious from some random words on small blocks of paper.
But the more I reflect on it, Andy did his job. He was creative in his approach, he demonstrated his credibility (client list) and was enthusiastic and encouraging (he actually did focus on the audience - must have been when I wasn't looking). By not being like his audience Andy cut through the ordinariness of the meeting and embedded himself deeply in the minds of those in attendance. My guess is I'm not the only one spreading the word about "that interesting speaker at the Hanover Business Council meeting".
Good job Andy! You're a real original!