Yet another insight into human nature has smacked me upside the head while I wasn’t looking, and busy doing the Expert Sourcing thing at Ideasicle.
It took an Hispanic-focused assignment for this one to make it to “aha!” land. I am personally not an Hispanic expert. And, while we did have one multicultural Expert in the Ideasicle ranks, we needed one more to be truly dangerous. So I recruited one on the recommendation of my current multicultural Expert. These two multicultural Experts ran away with the assignment, posting media and technologies I’d never heard of at all, let alone within the context of a particular segment. The other two non-multicultural creative Experts also learned a lot and were able to leverage that learning, in real time, to the benefit of the assignment at hand. The end product yielded this from the client: “You guys can really deliver!”
Her reaction aside, the two non-multicultural creative Experts and me were better Experts for having gone through this assignment. And we were better because we were exposed to the unique perspectives the multicultural Experts brought to the ideation session. We can’t help but take that knowledge to the next assignment. And that knowledge and experience to the next. And so on.
It’s a self-fulfilling, pro-biotic, positive-feedback loop of ideation wonder, if you ask me.
There are three, maybe more, forces that serve as “sharpeners,” now that I’ve thought about it for five minutes:
- Expert Sourcing is insular. The contained, finite numbers of Experts at Ideasicle means each knife is in constant use, constantly sharpening “against” the others.
- Expert Sourcing is not insular. At the same time, these Experts are never the same knife twice because they are not contained within four walls of a building, where their experiences become a homogenous mush of the same shit, different office-cube. Some are from big-time agencies. Some are freelance creatives. Some have their own businesses. Each sharpening independently.
- The Experts have different expertise. Each Expert was chosen not only because he or she has a brilliant mind for marketing ideation in general (you could seriously put any four on any project and they’ll be great), but also because of the unique perspective they bring to each project. We have multicultural Experts, as I said, we have culture Experts, Experts who run ad agencies, digital gurus, writers, designers, CMOs, inventors, even an author (well, three published authors, to be exact).
Taken together, every time in every session, you can almost hear the metal (or is it mettle?) sharpening. In fact, it has become “sport” for me choosing the perfect team of four for each project, and then watching the four work together like a Belichick offense.
Just wait, though. This knife is only getting sharper.