Erik Wahl: Yes, You Can Ramp-Up Your Creativity

“You Can’t Be Successful Today Without Being Creative"

Erik WahlUsing speed painting to inspire his audience, artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl opened The ASI Show in Chicago this morning with a rousing – and rather different – keynote speech. Beginning with Coldplay’s “When I Ruled the World” blaring through the ASI Chicago ballroom, Wahl rapidly painted a perfect rendition of local basketball legend Michael Jordan. His message: Break out of the normal routine to ramp-up creativity, surprise clients and differentiate your business from all the rest.

“You can’t be successful today without being creative,” Wahl told the Chicago audience when he finished the painting. “You have to find ways to differentiate yourself from the competition, and creativity can do that. The companies that are successful right now are the ones that create unique experiences for their customers.”

To do that, Wahl recommends that ad specialty distributors begin to analyze their business in different ways than they may have done in the past. He told attendees to look at their operations and customer relationships and find where there are spaces of opportunity. To Wahl, that opportunity often exists in the places where company managers are most fearful. “Take a step back and look at the spots in your business that are risky or that you’re fearful of,” Wahl said. “Turn those around and begin to view them as opportunities.”

Ultimately, the companies that embrace fear and learn to take risks in their regular business operations will be the most successful, Wahl said. “Look for ways to de-familiarize the ordinary,” Wahl told the audience. “Fear will cripple performance in the battle to differentiate you from the competition.”

Counselor Editor Andy Cohen caught up with Wahl to find out more of his strategies for how companies can become more creative and innovative. Click here [link] to watch the video interview.