Tag Archives for Walter Isaacson
Earlier today Chris Spiek, Bob Moesta, Brian Tolle, and I recorded our first live radio show. The topic was Steve Jobs, and the profoundly gifted designers and engineers at Apple and how Jobs was able to create products that revolutionized how we use technology to complete jobs to be done in our lives.
The full broadcast is below, and please forgive us for some slight format errors in the beginning. It was our first show, and as we do more — and there will be many more — we will get better.
According to Tony Schwartz, one of the four myths that companies continue to believe despite evidence to the contrary is that you cannot teach people to be creative or imaginative in their work.
That would be such a shame, considering how often one needs to use creativity and intutition in order to succeed in the workplace. Thankfully, intuition and creativity can be nurtured and taught and we can turn to Steve Jobs and the recent Walter Isaacson biography for examples.
One of the things I liked about Jobs was his persuasiveness in getting something done. He not only had ideas in his mind that he wanted to see realized, he thought of ways around them, while many around him saw the framework of the status quo and refused to do an “end around” around any of them. This was true, even in the advertising campaign for “Think Different.”
Jobs wanted several things his way. His intuition told him that they would have to bend the rules in places in order to get the desired effect — in this case, he wanted people to be inspired by genius. Several people, including Lee Clow, who was leading the Think Different campaign, took things at surface level; meaning, he came up with Think Diffferently, because gramatically, that is how you expressed the sentiment.
But Jobs wanted to create, literally, a new sentiment: he wanted Think Different because he wanted Different to be a noun, to imply it was a thing, a stage, a level of thinking that you could reach and experience. He insisted and finally got his way.
Then he wanted specific photographs of heroic leaders, geniuses, and revolutionaries, but the advertising team came back to him saying several pictures were not copyrighted for public use. That didn’t sit well with Jobs. He used his creativity to do what other people would not think of doing, or were afraid to consider. He called up the people who owned the pictures and persuaded them to release them for his adverts.
To me, that’s intuition and creativity, because:
1. Intuition tells you the answer will be yes, before anyone else knows it. Many people will use just the facts, they will look at past experience and the surface laws of reality and say, that is what it is, so be it. Not Jobs. As an intuitive, he knows what is happening and that the only way to realize the essence of what is happening is to go gunning for it.
2. There is a vision behind it. Jobs had several decades prior to this campaign to collect experiences which he then integrated into a vision — a kind of “I’ll know it when I see it” menagerie that only things like creativity and intuition could put together.
That’s great for Jobs, who was a bit of a hard-ass and very pushy and demanding when he wanted his vision realized, but what about the rest of us? Can we learn to have this kind of intuition?
Brian Tolle, a partner at Re-Wired Group, think so. He recently wrote a book about how to deal with personalities in the work place (Shortcut: Getting Through to People Who Slow You Down). When we were talking the other day about Jobs and his vision, Tolle said that he believes intuition can be learned, and that the reason most people don’t use their intuition heavily is that, perhaps, they are not taught how to access all the collective experiences they gather in life, which they can later use to integrate into their solutions thinking.
The key to intuition, says Tolle, is that you have to learn how to collect experiences, all of which can be wildly different than each other, and then you need to be given the opportunity to apply those collections of time and experience into current projects.
We’re not so sure companies govern this way. What can companies do in order build Intuition Time into workplace events?
The Re-Wired group will be hosting a radio show this Thursday, November 3, to examine this problem and several other lessons found in the Steve Jobs Biography. We will talk about the purpose of intuition and creativity, as well as the underlying essence of consumer jobs to be done. We’ll explore how Jobs was able to see into the essence of what people needed done and build a suite of products that helped consumers do things they never knew they wanted to do.
Be sure to tune into Re-Wired Radio: Steve Jobs and Demand Side Innovation for business lessons that use creativity, intuition and Jobs-to-be-done methodology.