There has never been a time when innovation has touched virtually every business and every industry, like it does right now in the digital era. Businesses have to work in a dynamic environment that is in a perpetual state of evolution. Our goals are the same, but the timeline and path to reach them has changed dramatically. Not only do we have to think outside the box, but the location of the box keeps changing.
As Canadian companies venture into online business for the first time, they bring offline practices with them and try to make them fit. While offline experience and expertise can be useful as a knowledge base to build an online presence, it can’t drive the level of creativity required to thrive online. We must base our actions on what will be effective, with the understanding and expectation that everything can change in an instant.
Ready or not, teams need to be on the cutting edge to compete in a crowded online world.
The Proximity Paradox™
How to Create Distance From Business as Usual and Do Something Truly Innovative
By Alex Varricchio & Kiirsten May
The basic concept is so logical, you’ll wonder if your own proximity has prevented you from seeing it for yourself.
The Proximity Paradox: Traditional stability & predictability vs. Modern creativity & innovation
Solution: Create distance between our innovation brain and our execution brain, to break the restraints of ‘business as usual’.
However, recognizing the problem and resolving it are two very different things. Luckily, Alex Varricchio & Kiirsten May have worked with many businesses. They were able to identify 10 common examples of the Proximity Paradox™ that can have a profound impact a company’s people, processes, and industry. Those examples illustrate how applying the concept in our own businesses can take ideas to the next level.
Additionally, the authors offer suggestions that will help you and your staff create distance from challenges, so the best path can emerge. Your new viewpoint will allow you to unleash the creativity that exists in your current team, and hire new team members with a fresh perspective.
“The Proximity Paradox™ encourages us to ask hard questions about how we work, how our businesses are structured, and why we routinely find our creativity at odds with what’s asked of us as executors and stewards of the bottom line,” the cover explains.
The fact is, all businesses need to think like creatives and focus on innovation. It’s 2021, a time when practically everyone is recognized as creative to one degree or another. Some will share it willingly, others will have to be nudged, and still others will have to have it ripped from their soul, but all have something of value to contribute to innovation. Their creativity and how they see the world should be valued and validated. It’s the only way to build a dynamic team that can not only innovate, but pivot on a dime.
This book could not be more timely, as weary entrepreneurs and leaders emerge from the pandemic, then try to navigate an economy that will take years to recover. Accelerated digital transformation has been forced on the world. Canada has been particularly impacted, because digital adoption and transformation have been slower here than in other developed countries.
The Proximity Paradox™ can guide leaders as they reframe their company and brand, resulting in a new working environment that facilitates and encourages creative, innovative thinking. There is no greater key to survival in the digital world than that.
You may have to read this book a couple of times to really grasp the concepts and most importantly, understand how to implement them in your particular company. Involve your team in these first steps and let them guide the process. It’s a great way to introduce some of the theories and put them into practice.
The online world is innovative to the core and all businesses must evolve with it to remain relevant. The Proximity Paradox™ takes that notion from an overwhelming challenge to a manageable, flexible plan that will help your company and its people grow and thrive. Watch as its bounty spreads into every corner of your business, from product development to operations and marketing.
About the Authors
Alex Varricchio worked with one of the largest advertising agencies on the Canadian Prairies for 10 years, and eventually led the creative department as creative director. He has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and pursued his first business venture at the age of four.
Kiirsten May has always had a passion for storytelling and creative expression. She’s channeled that passion into helping brands and individuals influence their communities through well-told stories.
Published by ECW Press in Toronto, Ontario.
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