Twitter provides me with a wealth of information on a daily basis, so I thought I’d start bookmarking each week’s most incredible news and articles. This particular collection of good reads is all about innovating and being the most productive creative force possible. Articles include Simon Sinek’s “The Left-Siders” focusing on people to the left side of/ahead of the bell curve; advice on being more productive from Ilya Pozin of INC., and Ethos3′s ”Innovate or Die.”
Simon Sinek’s “The Left-Siders” is written for the creative, forward-thinking folks to the left of/ahead of the bell curve. Sinek calls these people “misfits” yet “visionary” because they “seem to live on another planet. They also see things most others can’t” (Source). Sinek gives tremendous advice to the left-siders: don’t stop creating! He says we must support the left-siders in our lives because they are the ones who will change the world (Source). If you’re a left-sider who is experiencing creative difficulties, reading Sinek’s article will definitely empower you to push through that “writer’s block” (with, of course, whatever medium you work best with).
This week, INC.’s Ilya Pozin wrote “7 Things Highly Productive People Do.” This tremendous advice on generating more creative ideas is largely helpful for most people, especially people like me who thrive on constant growth and evolution. I worked this week to try some of Pozin’s tips, and I especially appreciated her idea that we should work in 60 to 90 minute spurts. She says, “Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes” (Source). In addition to these 7 tips, can you think of anything else that highly productive people should do?
“Innovate or Die” by Ethos3 is an important concept. Most of us realize the importance of innovation with our ideas, products, and companies. Our brand must be innovative. When we come up with an amazing new idea, how do we share it with others? By using terrible, 1980s, death-by-PowerPoint. If our ideas are so forward-thinking, why is the medium we use to convey those ideas shooting us 30 years in the past? This is not a good thing! We must learn, at the very least, the picture superiority effect when creating slideshows. Here is an example:
Instead of the same ole death-by-PowerPoint, try applying the picture superiority effect. After all, people cannot read and listen at the same time. If you put a slide like the one above on a projector, you’re going to speak at the pace of one bullet at a time. Your audience, however, is going to read the entire bulleted list immediately. After they read your entire message before you deliver it, you’re constantly playing catch-up to knowledge your audience already has; therefore, the need for you as a presenter is eliminated. Being obsolete as a presenter is definitely not a good thing.
For your next presentation, try separating your slides so that you have one main idea per slide, and replace your text with an image. The picture superiority effect tells us that people are visual creatures, so we remember images more than we remember text.
Let’s go back to Simon Sinek’s “Left-Siders.” If you’re ahead of the bell curve – if you’re a left-sider – you’re going to challenge that company PowerPoint template that has been around since 1992. You’re going to innovate. You’re going to demand change from those around you. You’re going to be a misfit. Don’t you want your idea to be remembered? Or do you want to rely on that stock company PowerPoint template… because that’s how things have always been done?
With the Links of the Week, I expect you to go out there and change the world! Did you find any good reads this week that can help the Left-Siders?
In light of Seth Godin’s TED Talk on standing out from the competition (watch here) and the Heath brothers’ book Made to Stick, today’s design tip of the day will help your company or brand stand out from the competition.
Nancy Duarte explains in slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations that “design and innovation go hand-in-hand with financial success” (Source). Apple and Target, two design-centered organizations according to Duarte’s text, are perfect examples of companies that stand out from their competitors. How? Apple and Target create messages that stick and create well-designed mediums to get those sticky messages across to audiences.
“12 paradoxes of graphic design” by Tobias Bergdahl explains one design paradox that Apple and Target know well:
Target is definitely an example of a design-centered company. Have you seen their website lately? With their latest website update, Target makes use of font, color, and arrangement (among so many other design concepts). Target’s ideas are succeeding, in part, because those products are presented so well. Another lovely example of design and innovation is Kate Spade. The Kate Spade website is one of the most beautifully designed websites I have ever seen.
If design and innovation go hand-in-hand with financial success, how can you incorporate design in your company to make your ideas resonate and to make your brand stick? According to Nancy Duarte, you must think like a designer. The best part: you do not have to be a formally-trained graphic designer to think like a designer! (David McCandless teaches us this in his remarkable TED Talk). Make 2012 the year your ideas resonate with others! Here are 5 rules for visual presentation you can use RIGHT NOW to more successfully market your ideas to audiences. Additionally, Chiara Ojeda’s “Thinking Like a Designer” is a must-read.
What design tips do you have for the budding designer who wants to make his or her brand resonate with audiences?