‘Nobody knows anything’
This famous line directed at the film industry came from legendary screenwriter William Goldman, whose credits include The Princess Bride, Marathon Man and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
It is powerful for two reasons.
Firstly, it succinctly suggests that what worked before will not necessarily work again in the future. It might not be what people want or need, so predicting the future by looking to the past is never a fool proof strategy.
Secondly, and most importantly, we need to be challenging old ways of doing things and creating new ideas all the time. Successful teams of people are comfortable being slightly uncomfortable all the time and have confidence in their ideas when challenged. Nothing is taken personally – it is always the ideas that matter.
And this is where proactivity comes into the picture. When we’re working on solving a challenge for a client we’re never just thinking about the brief in our hands; we’re also looking above and beyond what we’ve been asked for, to deliver ideas that can produce even greater results.
I’d go as far to say that if, as a team, we’re simply delivering back to our clients what they’ve asked for, then we’ve failed.
So, proactivity is a constant at Prominate. We have structured processes and tools to help deliver it. We back up proactive work with the skills and expertise of the team. We research, stress test, and build frameworks to qualify and execute the ideas, making sure they are relevant and actionable.
Ultimately though, it’s the quality of the ideas that makes proactivity work, and to generate great ideas it takes constant exercise to keep getting better and stronger at it, just like a muscle. In our experience it’s very difficult to simply switch idea generation on and off – it needs to be part of the DNA and encouraged at every opportunity.
Written By Peter Cleary
CEO of Prominate Australia and Board Member of Prominate