Friday, April 9, 2010

The value of any publicity

Is there value in any publicity? Even if it is not great publicity? Is there a lesson in this for managers?
After our 'free' front page splash In the Australian this week, we certainly generated a lot of chatter. Far more than we received for the beautiful photo and article in the Deal magazine 2 weeks previously.
So did this help us in any way - I think it did. The write-up about LEGO SERIOUS PLAY and the use of LEGO bricks in the ABC broadcaster made it seem as though innovation and play at work are a total waste of time and money. In the comments to the editor, many readers made fun of the concept and concluded that innovation through LEGO bricks is "condescending" for adults.
This is obviously something that we totally disagree with and research shows that the exact opposite is indeed true. Adults thrive when the endorphins are pumping and when they can use their whole brains to understand and communicate intangible ideas and concepts.
So - on the face of it associating LEGO SERIOUS PLAY with something that does not work would not appear to be a good idea. Particularly on the front page of the major national newspaper...
And yet it worked in our favour.
The phone has been ringing and people are booking events based on the methodology. They are also asking to be trained as LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitators.
Reason - the controversy generated discussion and the buzz created more interest.
What is the lesson in this for managers?
It seems as though anything that is out of the norm and that gets people talking is going to bring new ideas to the surface and create an environment where all viewpoints can be expressed. If we want our own teams to think creatively, setting the proverbial bird amongst the pigeons creates the scene for discussion. It is different and provokes conversation.
Far better than pretty posters around the office reminding the team of some of the key messages you want to get out there.
Your views on this please!

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