prsageorgiaA recent PRSA Georgia luncheon explored new ways to achieve the highest levels of productivity and communication in the New Year.  “Creativity, Collaboration and Culture: How Three Words Should Shape Your Communications in 2013” explored insights from a recent The C-Factors survey conducted by PRWeek and Allison+Partners.

Scott Allison, CEO of Allison+Partners, led a discussion about insights from some of today’s most innovative companies from A to Z:  like Apple, Amazon and Zappos.  How are these marketers and communicators doing things differently in today’s challenging business environment?

The first thing that innovative companies are doing differently is the way they look at risk.  Today’s most successful companies embrace risk and understand that in a thriving culture, risk is the point, not necessarily results.  Expecting 100% results squashes risk-taking.  It’s like being on a monkey-bar in the playground. To successfully get across, you can’t hold on to the previous bar before you move to the next one, because it’s too far away.  You have to let go and fly a little.

Imagination is what gets you to the next level, and being willing to fly by the seat of your pants a little allows organizations to adapt at the speed of change.  This means the end of one-way, “monologue” communications – sending out press releases, vetting everything through legal and moving slowly.

Thriving communicators understand “dialogue” communications – a two-way conversation, not between a communicator and the media, but between a communicator and the consumer. This is the person who actually comes in contact with your product or service.  Listen to them and engage.

Two-way communication is only enabled if you
do some creative destruction.  Tear down what’s not working and rebuild that part from the ground up.  This doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel.  Keep what is working and use it to strengthen your organization while you take risk in new areas.  A creative culture permeates an organization, and creativity is contagious.  Once you take a risk and it pays off, spread the word about it within your organization.

And if you do inevitably experience some failure, as all risk-taking organizations do, just “fail fast.”  Figure out what didn’t work, learn from it and move on.  Ruminating on ideas that “could have been” does your organization no good at the speed of change.

So you say you have embraced a creative culture. Now you have tools like Facebook and Twitter, but are you using them to their full advantage?  Are you actively engaging?  Remember to utilize creative destruction and get rid of the silos within your organization to get everyone talking to each other.  You never know where the next best idea will come from.