Is your company all bizz -- filled with professional managers, accountants, and financial planners who produce "smooth operations" but offer no customer savvy or soul? Or is it all buzz -- filled with talk, hype, and the brainstorming of half-cooked ideas that often lead nowhere?
To capture the best of these dichotomous worlds, creativity expert Bernd H. Schmitt and accomplished business writer Laura Brown introduce a groundbreaking model of a creative organization they call "The Garage." This powerful new framework demonstrates how any executive can manage the creative tension between the analytic, rational side of business and its dynamic, innovative side. After laying out the broad mission, or "blueprint," for constructing The Garage, Schmitt and Brown present The Toolbox -- specific instruments for infusing creativity into all aspects of a business -- and show how to use The Blueprint and The Toolbox as essential strategy, recruiting, resource, and communications devices. At the center of this immensely readable book are the "Mastercrafts of The Garage" -- technology, branding, and customer-experience management -- the organizational forces that guarantee creative efforts are coordinated and well implemented to provide competitive advantage.
To illustrate particular aspects of creativity, Schmitt and Brown open each chapter with a story or "business parable," each written in a different genre -- horror, detective, love story, or fairy tale -- accompanied by evocative photographs. They also draw on scores of cutting-edge examples of creative, innovative ventures such as American Express's Blue, W Hotels, Eli Lilly's "Answers That Matter," SAP, and NTT DoCoMo's i-mode.
Build Your Own Garage is timely and instructive reading for any manager charged with the mandate to bring to market quickly the most useful and innovative products and services. The book's Web site is www.BuildTheGarage.com