The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

Episode #268: Allen Gannett – How To Create “Aha” Moments And Spark Creativity

Allen is the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing analytics platform that enables creativity.  Marketers use TrackMaven to measure and improve performance across every channel  Some clients are: The NBA, Microsoft, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many more modern marketers.  His book, The Creative Curve, was published in June 2018 from Currency, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It is all about how anyone can learn to have moments of creative genius. 

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“Learn how to learn. View the world as being a less fixed place.  Anyone is capable of making it happen.”

Show Notes:

  • Sustaining excellence:
    • Surround self with others who are great at what they do.  A very social phenomenon
      • Collaborate with those who support their weaknesses
    • Be aligned with an executive sponsor
    • Live at the creative center — Move to corporate headquarters if you work for a big company
      • Need to build relationships outside of 9:00-5:00
  • The importance of building generational friends (friends from all age groups)
  • What makes a hit? — “Familiar but also novel.”
  • “As humans we’re fearful of unfamiliar.  It’s the brains’ elegant way of risk and reward.”
    • A balance of the novel and the new
  • The truth about Mozart
    • He didn’t create his first music until he was 17
    • He had a helicopter Dad. He practiced music for three hours a day from a very early age
    • He became great because of deliberate practice
  • JK Rowling spent five years writing the first Harry Potter
    • She was extremely deliberate in her process.  It wasn’t just a light bulb moment on a train.
  • Paul McCartney spent years to write the song, Yesterday
  • How to create “Aha” moments for self? — Go for a run, drive, take a shower, lay down.  Need to calm the brain.
  • Writing a “descriptive” and “prescriptive” book:
    • Consume a lot about your topic of choice
    • Need to build prior knowledge
    • Not just “what,” but “how much”
  • Ben Franklin — He outlined previously written articles
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin consumed mass amount of literature and worked to “copy” the style in which other greats wrote
  • Confidence building – “Learn how to learn.”  View the world as being a less fixed place.  Anyone is capable of making it happen.
  • Creativity is something you can learn.
  • How to get cast of “Wheel Of Fortune”
  • TrackMaven is a marketing analytics platform
  • Making the shift from individual contributor to manager — A “communicator and coach” to others
  • Mistakes new managers make:
    • Need open lines of communication. “I was conflict averse initially and that’s not good.”
    • Remember when hiring.  It’s hard to fire people. “It’s brutal.”
    • Not everyone has all the answers.  Get advice from people with different perspectives and incentives
    • “You need to hire slow AND fire slow.  Give people a chance.”
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“A great manager must be a great communicator and coach for others.”

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