Chapter 1. The Case for Creativity

 

If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less.

 
 --GENERAL ERICK SHINSEKI

A friend recently came to me to ask for advice about his business, a promotional products company. He lamented that he was stuck: revenue was flat, and he couldn't seem to get to the next level. I began to toss out ideas of new ways to get customers, approach the market, expand his offerings, and improve his processes. With each suggestion, his reply was, "No. That's not the way it's done in my industry."

After a few rounds of this, I decided to give him some straight-between-the-eyes feedback: "If you're unwilling to be different," I said, "you'll never get to the next level. The very fact that the entire industry ...

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