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Creative Strategy Generation: Using Passion and Creativity to Compose Business Strategies That Inspire Action and Growth Hardcover – July 31, 2015
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From the Inside Flap
Successful strategies must have one key element to produce spectacular results for your business― originality. However, pure ingenuity can be hard to produce in the noise of derivative ideas and worn out processes drowning out fresh progress―which is why you need Creative Strategy Generation to help guide you through tried-and-true business practices in a fresh, new, and exciting way.
The author's diverse talents as an executive leader and a musical performer, composer, and songwriter shine through in a pitch-perfect mix of mind expanding theory and practical techniques to help you unlock the artistic strategist inside you. Whether you work in a B2B or B2C company, this proven approach can boost your strategic influence and track record, as it has for the author and the many companies he has worked with. Grounded in accessible explanations, this practical guide explores the connections between the strategic and creative processes, and it demystifies the complexities of developing a strategic plan by revealing how to:
- Develop the four proficiencies of Analysis, Recollection, Intuition, and Artistry (ARIA) that are needed to creatively generate business strategies
- Clear your mind for new ideas by condensing and organizing your existing business knowledge, data, and beliefs
- Find your strategic inspiration and turn it into the vision, goals, and objectives that will ultimately drive your plan
- Deeply understand your target customers and formulate strategies that uniquely address their needs and wants
- Use storytelling to synthesize key messages, generate interest, create excitement, and establish emotional connections to get buy-in for your strategic plan
- Build a team that is fully invested, trained, and ready to play their respective parts as soon as your plan gets the green light
- Execute your strategy by fully supporting your team as a problem solver, ongoing influencer, and unflinching promoter
- Put the fun and excitement back into your business planning process by using Creative Strategy Generation to compose your company's next strategic masterpiece!
From the Back Cover
Praise for Creative Strategy Generation
"Mixing traditional marketing acumen and understanding with the creative process of songwriting, Bob encapsulates how the two worlds of business and music can provide the storytelling tools that help shape a solid business strategy. This book is incredibly informational and entertaining to see the parallels between art and the fundamentals of business."
- Bill Richards, VP Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment
"Caporale effectively invokes the mindset and language of the artist ― the canvas, melodies, and story arcs ― to create a highly practical toolkit that will be especially useful for practitioners looking to compose product and business unit-level strategy."
- Sean Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer, Northeastern University Global Network
"Creative Strategy Generation provides a fresh new look at the topic of strategy. Using his passion for music as the starting point, Bob Caporale provides us with a step-by-step guide for infusing much-needed creativity into the strategic planning process. A must read for anyone seeking to add more value to their products or brands!"
- John Gerzema, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Social Strategist, and Leadership Consultant
"Bob Caporale composes a book on strategy that is influenced by and extends classic strategic frameworks by infusing his own passion to create an easily accessible read that will be sure to have you singing along!"
- Kevin D. Rooney, Former Chief Strategy Officer, American Access Casualty Co.
"I worked in Product Management and Strategy for most of my career, and I wish I had this book to revert back to during annual planning meetings and product launches. Bob has laid out strategy planning in a very easy to follow story book. I know I will share this methodology with my colleagues and can't wait to use it for my next strategy plan!"
- Cheryl Nash, President, Fiserv Investment Services
"Mr. Caporale presents a compelling model, blending the expressiveness of art with the objectivity of strategy. A thought-provoking approach, keeping the customer perspective in the forefront and providing a dose of reality throughout."
- Steve Thompson, VP Business Strategy, National Oilwell Varco
"As a founder of a high-growth startup with no pre-existing roadmap to follow, I appreciate the way that Bob demystifies the strategy process and gives us specific and practical tools for creating our own unique product and market strategies. Most strategy books point to high-profile success stories and try to extract common themes for us to follow. But every success story contains a complex mix of ingredients that are hard to "bottle" for others to repeat. Bob's process doesn't rely upon the past but, rather, gives business practitioners real tools for building their own paths to success."
- Aaron Gowell, Chief Conductor, SilverRail Tech
"This book is music to my ears. It's a great way for members of the C-Suite to help their teams develop their own symphonies of success! Bravo!"
- Jeffrey Hayzlett, Primetime TV & Radio Host, Keynote Speaker, and Best-Selling Author
"Bob Caporale's Creative Strategy Generation reminds us that we are, first and foremost, creative beings. This book is a practical and insightful guide on how to tap into the artistic process in order to create strategic plans that are true works of art."
- Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, President/CEO, The Center for the Performing Arts
"Caporale's latest work injects a refreshing and innovative twist to the process of developing business strategy. Through his impressively comprehensive comparison of music composition to business strategy development, Caporale makes a strong case for the necessity of moving beyond technical analysis and reaching deep for creative inspiration and improvisation to achieve the greatest business impact. For anyone who has ever picked up a musical instrument or simply enjoyed a memorable song, Caporale's analogies will indelibly link the art and science of quality musical creation to that of transformational business strategy."
- Gerry Caron, Vice President of Innovation and Product Management, OtterBox
"Creative Strategy Generation is a much-needed breath of fresh air. Applying the tools and constructs of music, storytelling, and other elements of artistic process shed new light on what strategy development can mean in an organization. Product managers will embrace the practicality of the tools but, moreover, realize that creativity is something we all possess and can tap into."
- Randy L. Rossi, President, Bally Design Inc.
Top customer reviews
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When I learned about the book, I was curious because of the words “creative” and “strategy.” As a business leader in a complex product company, I ask my staff to inject some creativity into their product and business line strategies. I end up with dense presentation decks that don't tell the story about what they want to do, and why. A strategic plan is the outcome of careful thought about the path the business has traveled, what future is envisioned, and what the resultant goals and strategies should be. As many leaders know, it’s easy to say and hard to do --- until now.
Bob Caporale uses the term “Strategic Arc” to guide practitioners so they can create a relevant strategy for a product, product line, or business. Artists and performers should recognize a parallel in the term “dramatic arc.” Caporale’s strategic arc allows a management practitioner to view the business through the lenses of the present, past, and future. In his explanations and stories, he enables the reader to explore their creativity. I can tell you that I did not think of myself as a creative, but Bob has given me the chance to explore that – and I’ve been able to infuse some of this in my own teams. Bob’s writing style is easy to digest, accessible, relevant, and actionable.
I personally thank Bob Caporale for providing this gem to the business community.
In Creative Strategy Generation, he utilizes his musical experience, talent and insight to artfully-craft a work that will resonate with simplicity, clarity and meaning for the thousands of practitioners who will seek and find this book for what it is – truly a gift!
In Part 1 of this book, Bob Caporale introduces four "solo" proficiencies that almost anyone can master in order to complete a seven-step creative strategy generation process. The proficiencies are Analysis ("Where are we now?"), Recollection ("Where have we been?"), Intuition ("Where do we want to go?"), and Artistry ("How are we going to get there." The statement by Michael Porter that I selected as a title for this review correctly stresses the importance of relevance. Those who master them will become much better prepared to formulate an appropriate strategy. The adjective "appropriate" is critically important. That is to say, the answer to the basic question for each of the four proficiencies should be relevant. In Part 3, he provides what he characterizes as "a quick reference resource" for how to build an appropriate strategy from preparation through production. The abundance of material provided serves as a "toolkit" that contains "Quick Reference Guide," "Strategic Presentation Guideline," and "Tidbits of Wisdom."
"So this book is about correlating the very creative process of writing music with the equally creative process of composing strategies. It is a highly personal account, and you will undoubtedly see that throughout. But to focus on my process would be missing the point. What I am really hoping to do by using this simile (i.e. compose and execute strategy as one would compose and perform music] to encourage you to find and apply your own creative process to the art of strategic planning. All of us are creative beings, whether that creativity displays itself through music, art, writing, performance, business, or science. The trick is to find whatever it is that you are passionate about creating and apply that same process to your business strategies."
These are among the several dozen passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Caporale's coverage:
o ARIA Proficiencies: Analysis, Recollection, Intuition, and Artistry (Pages 7-26)
o Preparation Stage (31-57)
o Baseline Analysis (50-53 and 69-70)
o Inspiration Stage (59-82)
o SWOT Analysis (63-72)
o Developing a Vision (72-79)
o Genre Stage (83-105)
o Market/Customer Segmentation (88-102)
o Ideation Stage (107-138)
o Go-to-Market Plan (119-135)
o Arrangement Stage (139-166)
o Orchestration Stage (167-188)
o Implementation Team (170-187)
o Production Stage (189-208)
o Implementation Strategy (194-199)
I agree with Bob Caporale that the seven-step process he recommends -- or another that is comparable with it in terms of comprehensiveness and cohesion -- can help business leaders in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) to ensure that there is a strategy in place that can guide and inform efforts to achieve the given objectives. In fact, "whether you are a composer, an artist, a screenwriter, a theatrical producer, or a business strategist, these are the seven steps that will be required to produce your creative work of art. And make no mistake about it: the very best business strategies are indeed creative works of art.
To those who insist they are not "creative," I urge them to read Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, co-authored by Tom Kelley and David Kelley and published by Crown Business/Random House (2013). They insist that almost anyone can develop a creative, human-centered mindset and help achieve breakthrough innovations. "As brothers who have worked together for thirty years at the forefront of innovation, we have come to see this set of misconceptions as `the creativity myth.' It is a myth that far too many people share. This book is about the opposite of that myth. It is about what we call `creative confidence.' And at its foundation is the belief that we are all capable to highly creative thinking...Creative confidence is a way of seeing that potential and your place in the world more clearly, unclouded by anxiety and doubt. We hope you'll join us on our quest to embrace creative confidence in our lives. Together, we can all make the world a better place."