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the smart answer lies in the dumb question... ready to ask it?

the smart answer lies in dumb the question… ready to ask it?

The red van chased from behind.

The old lady dropped her TESCO bag.

I kept peddling. Furiously.

London was foiled in a smouldering snotty grey, it sucked out all the deliciousness sublime summer time.

Everyone sullenly moped about. Eyes wandering like glib moody black tadpoles.

Hyde Park was getting closer.

Thrashing away on my LimeBike

God, I bladdy lav Lime Bikes… I dus, as much as I likes me Cyyydaa n’ Saussyy Rolls *Bristolian country bumpkin accent

It’s Pokemon Go-meets Go-karting.

Cruise around London pretending you’re Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible sauntering past buses like That’s Impossible.

Sometimes I even dress up as Cat Woman (latex n’ all) and pick up a Greggs Steak Bake.

I’ve arrived in Hyde Park.

Plopped down by a tree.

I am journalling away, unleashing the Jekyll of my mind, where it likes to Hyde and run around like a randy Jackal.

Strong coffee. Very strong. Crawls through my veins like screaming graffiti through rough streets.

Why am I in Hyde Park?

T’was at “Podcaster and YouTuber Meet up”- (yep, sorry I’ve gone there…and yes…I’ve bought a productivity journal).

I met Ali Abdaal and his Head of Content, Tin Tin - what. a. name.

Ali is one of the highest paid Youtubers. Millions of followers. Makes serious dough.

I sought to hack his Content System.

I asked Tin Tin: “you must have the most amazing content system behind the scenes to bang out so much content ?

Tin Tin replied: “absolutely not mate, it’s way more messy than you think… even the video last week, we were scrabbling like mad to get it out on time”.

He looked at me. Winked. “Embrace the mess bro”

Embrace the mess.

Behind consistency is mess.

Magic lies in the mess. Creativity is ultimately mess.

Starter: How to inject messy to unlock creativity

Founders, as they scale, get so caught up in creating the the perfect system or perfect process or perfect activation or perfect onboarding process or perfect sales deck.

That’s fine if you’re PEPSICO or Unilever or Mars-and-he’s-Wrigley-little-fuckaaaaaa

But we’re NOT PEPSICO or Unilever. So why try and be like them?

Being like them saps all the creative juice like a famished Vampire in Timberland Boat Shoes who carries a note pad.

10x creativity beats 10x budget.

When you don’t have budget. You need creativity.

But How?

First, inject MESS.

Change your teams INPUTS change OUTPUTS.

Some ideas

  • give your team an unlimited reading or Audible budget for a month. Insert a curiosity meeting each week. Discuss best ideas.

  • change the environment, walking meetings > bored-in-the-board-room meetings - I love what Olly’s just did with their walk together to PEPSICO.

  • Lunch and Learn - bring outside people in to inject new ideas. Candy Kittens, Ed Williams does this weekly with Sweet Talks.

(Whoops, sorry, since we’re here, I may as well say quickly slip in… I am available for speaking events and I do a bit of freestyle rap too… although my Rider is pretty-fucking spenny Champers and Caviar and Quavers).

  • Give your team a week off. Big Fish. Gone Fishing - Perry’s given his team a week off.

    Take your team to a Michelin star restuarant - it’ll be the best sales course they’ve ever been on. Better than some Gary or Graham Gaffer in a tepid De Vere Hotel venue.

Inject MESS = unlock creativity = 10x unfair advantage.

Main Course: “Questions are the answers you may need” - Oasis

Second, ask Dumb Questions.

Corporate middle management love Serious Questions. They’re scared to ask dumb questions.

Serious Questions produce boring, unimaginative results.

Serious Questions are the Google Maps to hitting meek targets. But go no further. Meh.

Serious Questions are clean and rigid but they produce the same results as everyone else.

Big corporates obsess with Serious Questions. So do your competition.

Serious questions unlock seriously crap answers, seriously, I’m being serious.

Serious Question example: (pretty much every sales meeting) -

How are we going to going to drive the rate of sale to 9 per store per week this year in Sainsbury’s?

Boring answer- marketing plan, influencer campaign, promo plan, sampling campaign.

Dumb questions are messy and curious.

Dumb questions allow for a flight of imagination, unlock opportunities no one else is seeing.

No one asks Dumb questions, they’re too scared.

Asking dumb questions is an unfair advantage.

“Questions are the answers you may need” - Oasis

The answer lies in the question. 

Going further.

The SMART answer lies in the DUMB question.

I love this example by TRIP.

Question: What’s one thing we could do differently, where no one else is looking, that could have a huge uptick in our rate of sale?

TRIP unlocked a whole new on-brand customer base by asking dumb questions.

Utter genius.

The SMART answer lies in the DUMB question.

Some questions to ask yourself and your team.

  1. Sales Team: How can we make this buyers meeting fun and memorable? Or how can we be so bold the buyer tells all their friends about our brand?

  2. Ops Team: How can we look at this problem from the wrong way around? - James Dyson

  3. Marketing Team: If we could only pick ONE activation to grow our brand, what would it be and why?

  4. Innovation: What’s the opposite of a good idea? a la Rory Sutherland.

  5. Channel Question: What channel is absolutely NO ONE focusing on? Why?

  6. Simplicity: What would this look like if it were easy?

  7. Focus: What 4 activities can we cut this month that are a distraction and simply don’t move the needle?

Cultures with curiosity and creativity at their centre WIN.

MESS + QUESTIONS = 10 x creativity

** am I saying don’t have budgets or targets or forecast.

No you numpty. You need a road map. A goal.

But mess + questions may unlock a different path, a faster way to get there. And further. Way further.

Dessert: the mess of creating South Park

South Park is the prime example of Mess + Questions = Creative clout.

Watch this documentary it dives deep into MESS + QUESTIONS = CREATIVITY = UNFAIR ADVANTAGE

Creativity requires lots of messing around.

Creativity is sitting around doing nothing.

Creativity is needs distraction.

Thank you SO SO much for reading, hope you go and have a very messy weekend.

As always, if you enjoy these emails… please do forward onto a friend or subscribe. I’d be a tres happy bunny.

Popey x