Wednesday, December 12, 2007

next book

looks like ian might be the only one still playing along but this is the next book on the list. great idea of moving from everyone thinking outside the box when the real difficulty is thinking inside the box/ like houdini had to do. more later.

1 comment:

igaff said...

"Houdini had a different approach. He accepted his circumstances. He accepted the box. He accepted the water inside the box. He accepted the chains and the locks. Rather than allowing his mind to be consumed with the problem, he directed all of his energy toward solving it."

I FINALLY read the Houdini Solution; when I think of the Houdini Solution, I think of discussions we had in ad classes about the strengths of having a small budget. Yes, strengths. the fact that having limitations pushed creative directions and planners to find an insight that would touch at the core of their audience... because finding such insight was a necessity. They would not be allowed to rely on fancy effects or top dollar spokespeople. I loved the discussion, the arguments made, but what facsinated me most was the brillance of human nature. I believe the song is hungry like the wolf, or the saying is eye of the tiger... the heart of the matter is the will to overcome adversity, to survive, to evolve; or die. In advertising, the Houdini Solution is a fantastic example and manuscript for such an evolution.

At face value, this book spoke to me in terms of a "how to", or much like the current 'career builder' ads, "self-help yourself". The heart of the book for me though was what wasn't written too much about. How the notion of overcoming adversity, of evolving one's own answer, is and has been educated out of the modern american psyche.

"It's this stubborn clinging to the connections we know instead of the connections we could make that prevents so many organizations from taking advantage of their latent creative ability."

We are told where and how to sit; but told that sitting in the front of the class will make you pay more attention. But paying better attention isn't the goal for anyone. The goal is to be smarter, to excel. Allowing young minds to make the connection that sitting closer allows for better vision and hearing, and thereby retaining information, that is the connection. Being told what to do, punished for not doing it, that is the connection that becomes associated with sitting close... Ok example... not great. But in advertising especially, making forward thinking connections is the end goal, and the hardest to achieve. Understanding that skateboarders ride under bridges and in abondoned parking lots because there is a lot of concrete and open space is not the connection. Understanding that skateboarders go there to get away from the confines of their strict societies however, that is where the heart is. Learning not to accept the face value is to unlearn K-12 cultural education... and, in that, as so perfectly stated in the book, "we learn that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things... we work more and play less." Resulting in this:

"Almost nothing we grown-ups do in our leisure time comes close to sparking our imaginations, to taking us away to distant planets or to the bottom of the ocean."

Play, becomes complicated. In myself I know this to be true. When I am allowed to create, to sit and do whatever I think might be cool; I get flustered. With direction or a clear goal, I can think critically and contimplate new methods... When I am given a blank canvas... I hope someone will ask me to paint something specific. It's quite sad really.

In sumation, the book I thought was great in thinking that all situations perpetuate some level of adversity, and that certain situation would be better solved by accepting such adversity and moving forward; as opposed to thinking outside of the adversity, solving the situation with ignorance of any problem. What I want however, is a methodology of deconstructing notions of formulas. The ability to not immediately organize M&M's by color groupings, but rather try and create a face, or a planet, or a line of code... and to do so naturally, without hesitation or anxiety of questioning the purpose of what I am doing.

Food for thought