Build Your Own Garage: Blueprints and Tools to Unleash Your Companys Hidden Creativity

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The i-mode system is also extremely attractive for Internet content providers small or large who simply add their fees to the subscribers' cellular phone bills collected by NTT DoCoMo. In DoCoMo collected 9 percent as a commission charge. For example, the Cybird Company, a small Japanese firm, has become highly profitable by offering more than fifty services to mobile users while discontinuing its unprofitable Internet site for personal computer users. One of the services charges 85, subscribers yen a month for reporting the wave conditions on the Japanese coasts.

Bandai Company, a toymaker and inventor of the Tamagotchi Virtual Pet, has signed up 1. Another reason is that it is a lifestyle product that is extremely popular among Japanese teenagers. As Elliott Hamilton, senior vice president at the Strategis Group, an e-data resources firm, noted: "Other wireless carriers, handset vendors, and software providers can look to i-mode as a successful benchmark to be emulated in their own country. It is the spirit of The Garage that must resonate within the entire organization and shake it into action.

As we have shown in Chapter 1, this spirit includes capturing, nurturing, and managing chaos to harness corporate creativity. The figure shows the framework of corporate creativity used in this book. To build its own garage, the company needs three key elements and activities that make creativity work within it: the bizz, the buzz, and the stuff. To create the right relation between the bizz, the buzz and the stuff, The Garage needs a broad-based mission about corporate creativity or what we call "The Blueprint of The Garage" as well as specific implementation tools for infusing creativity into every project and initiative or what we call "The Toolbox of The Garage".

In Chapter 3, we present both and show how the blueprint and the tools are used as essential strategy, recruiting, resource, and communication devices. Moreover, The Garage needs organizational taskforces or what we call "The Mastercrafts of The Garage" that work cross-functionally in bringing together the bizz, the buzz, and the stuff.

Mastercrafts cut across organizational silos and departments such as finance, accounting, legal, marketing to plan and execute creative projects of the organization in line with its blueprints. Mastercrafting is not a set of rigid rules or procedures. Rather, it is an iterative creativity-optimizing process and a set of guidelines for channeling creativity in practical and effective directions. We discuss the following three Mastercrafts.

Read More From Bernd H. Schmitt

The Technology Mastercraft employs its skills and expertise to leverage technology cross-functionally for the purpose of harnessing corporate creativity Chapter 4. The Branding Mastercraft employs branding skills and expertise to make sure that the organization manages its branding initiatives and external and internal communications creatively Chapter 5. The Mastercraft of Customer Experience Management is the science and art of managing the interface with customers in a creative way Chapter 6.

Mastercrafts are indispensable creative forces of an organization.

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Without managing them appropriately, the organization does not harness all of its creative capabilities. Clearly there are other "crafts" in a business organization including finance, accounting, legal, marketing, and so on. They are important for the day-to-day functioning of an organization. However, they are not mastercrafts because they do not manage the intersection between the bizz, the buzz, and the stuff and therefore do not leverage creativity and innovation across the entire organization.

Unfortunately, most organizations have finance, accounting, legal, and marketing departments but lack these critical Mastercraft task forces. While our parables don't touch on moral or religious issues, they are meant to illustrate some important principles: in our case, principles about business.

Our parables are meant to be read partly for pleasure and partly for learning. All the stories are set in a business environment, and they all deal more or less explicitly with the business issues discussed further in each chapter. You will find characters that you may recognize: an idealistic consultant, a manager at a corporate retreat, a world-weary business traveler, a corporate vampire who exists only to suck the life out of his employees. Some of the settings will be familiar, too: a hot young start-up that's just been acquired by a corporate conglomerate; a company rebranding itself after a series of mergers; a firm struggling to keep in touch with its customer base; and the interior of a aircraft.

Business has traditionally limited itself to the world of the intellectual and the analytical, yet there is no reason that business should restrict itself to a single mode of communication and insight. With this in mind, we have also commissioned photographer Gail Anderson to create photographic images for each of the parables. The visual is an extremely important mode for creativity and insight, and one that business has not used to its fullest potential. Human memory is largely a visual phenomenon: many of our memories come back to us as "snapshots" or visual markers of scenes we have experienced.

For this reason, the photographs in the book focus on critical scenes and images that serve as icons for the parables' content. The final component of the book is its Web site, www. On the site you will find updated information about the content of the book, added value in the form of various new content including creativity tools and new cases of best practices , and more about business parables. In sum, you are getting more than just a book: you are getting a multimedia experience of creativity. Schmitt and Laura Brown.

Sherrie L. Many tools have been introduced that can be applied immediately through the metaphor of 'the garage', one of the most intriguing being CEM Customer Experience Management. As one would expect from Schimtt, the book was exciting, thought provoking, and created an experience for the reader, a welcome change to the standard marketing jargon flooding the market today. A vital book for those who place creative marketing at the heart of organizational renewal.

Schmitt and Brown articulate a powerful approach to accelerating the creative flow of any organization. What a brilliant idea! Business insights told through a vampire story, a love story, a fairy tale. My prediction: within five years this will be produced as a show in Las Vegas! Rogers, playwright White People and Seeing the Elephant.

This book is really about building a great business for customers as well as for employees. I plan to buy dozens of this book for friends and colleagues. It should be required reading for every brand strategist and a staple on the shelf of every literal and figurative garage. GROUP A handbook for the maverick that will pile-drive creativity into the corporate headquarters and the heart of enterprise. Author Essay Build Your Own Garage provides a practical framework you can use to unleash your company's creativity -- any company, in any industry.

The book contains new, challenging concepts and tools that you can use right away to begin transforming your company into a thriving, creative Garage -- even during times of economic uncertainty. In addition, through the use of engaging business parables and intriguing photographs, the book allows you to explore creativity deeply and understand its implications for your organization. First, the hands-on stuff. These are the practical management resources you can use to transform your organization into an innovative Garage.

The first step is to draw up The Blueprint for your Garage. In the book, we explain that the basis of The Blueprint is making creativity a priority in the organization. Of course most companies have mission statements about "adding value," "quality," "partnerships," etc. The second key resource is The Toolbox. Here you will find communication tools, individual work-style tools, and teamwork tools, among others -- all practical exercises designed to get the creative juices flowing.

One of our favorites is a radical branding tool we call "stripping and dressing," designed to help you get at the real essence of your brand. In the book, we use Starbucks as an example and imagine that our task is to creatively reposition this company. First, we strip. Working with customers' input, we imaginatively strip away piece after piece of the components of the company. Take away the coffee houses, the logo, the baristas, etc. Once you've stripped the company down to its bare essentials, you begin dressing it up again -- this time with your new strategic objective in mind.

The process of stripping and dressing gives you countless creative insights about your brand. In addition to offering practical tools, Build Your Own Garage is entertaining and lots of fun to read. Each chapter begins with a short story, a "business parable," set in a business environment. Each story is written in a different genre horror, love story, murder story, fairy tale and features familiar characters from business life: an idealistic consultant, a world-weary business traveler, an executive at a retreat, and so on.

With these stories and the photographs that illustrate them, we hope to demonstrate a deeper point about creativity and human understanding -- there is more than one way to convey ideas and to access the spirit and imagination. For more information about the book and about creative Garage building, please visit www.


The site was a creative project in its own right, containing colorful pop-up windows, movie trailers of the "business parables," and other fun and funky stuff. Bernd H.

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See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview Is your company all bizz -- filled with professional managers, accountants, and financial planners who produce "smooth operations" but offer no customer savvy or soul? Or is it all buzz -- filled with talk, hype, and the brainstorming of half-cooked ideas that often lead nowhere?

To capture the best of these dichotomous worlds, creativity expert Bernd H. Schmitt and accomplished business writer Laura Brown introduce a groundbreaking model of a creative organization they call "The Garage. After laying out the broad mission, or "blueprint," for constructing The Garage, Schmitt and Brown present The Toolbox -- specific instruments for infusing creativity into all aspects of a business -- and show how to use The Blueprint and The Toolbox as essential strategy, recruiting, resource, and communications devices.


At the center of this immensely readable book are the "Mastercrafts of The Garage" -- technology, branding, and customer-experience management -- the organizational forces that guarantee creative efforts are coordinated and well implemented to provide competitive advantage. To illustrate particular aspects of creativity, Schmitt and Brown open each chapter with a story or "business parable," each written in a different genre -- horror, detective, love story, or fairy tale -- accompanied by evocative photographs.

Build your own garage : blueprints and tools to unleash your company's hidden creativity

Build Your Own Garage is timely and instructive reading for any manager charged with the mandate to bring to market quickly the most useful and innovative products and services. The book's Web site is www. About the Author Bernd H.