skip to Main Content


So what does producing have to do with being deviant? The best way to show someone that your idea is the greatest, most innovative thing they have ever seen, is to actually show it to them. Duh!

So why do so many of us spend so much time talking about what we are going to do, or how something will look, work, taste, smell, etc.? If you know what you want to show, SHOW IT.

This doesn’t mean that you have to create an expensive prototype. It means creating a picture of what you want people to see. So how do you do that?

Draw it out!

Now, I don’t expect you to be the next Picasso. (And even if you were, that is not the type of drawing that would get your idea accepted.) Honestly, with a few stick figures that illustrate your basic ideas, you can get your point across. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, and people remember images much better than they remember text.

Hmmmm…maybe I need to stop writing and start drawing!

I love Dan Roam’s Napkin Academy  He breaks it down into such easy steps that even my husband could do it. Shh! Don’t tell my husband I said that. On the Napkin Academy site, there are some great instructions to get you started. It shows you how to illustrate different concepts, everything from basic to complex ideas.

Perfect is not necessary. Believe it or not, you are not perfect. Just make sure you get your point across.


Show what something is like and what it is not like. Here I like to use metaphor. I use a metaphor to describe how I want it to be. For example, recently when developing a marketing plan for a group I belong to, we talked about how loud the message needs to be. We finally decided that we needed to “sound the bell” to get everyone’s attention about this service. By me just typing that, can’t you see someone running to a bell tower in the center of a square, and ringing the bell loudly and with passion, beckoning others to gather round to hear the message? See the crazy amount of words it took to describe it. Using a metaphor cuts down on clutter and gets to the point.

We could have said, we wanted to approach the project with “hushed anticipation.” It would have taken a totally different approach, and we would have found a totally different answer.

Be Prolific!

Part of producing is just that, produce lots. Picasso didn’t just create one picture, he created thousands. How could we not believe that he was on to something new, exciting, and different? He himself was so passionate about his new style of art, that he could not stop producing ideas around it. Was everything that Picasso created a masterpiece? HELL NO! Some of the stuff was trash. Now, very expensive trash. But he tried, tested, practiced, and worked hard.

Master the basics!

To produce something new and different, one needs to master the basics. Salvador Dali was a master painter; he could paint things so real you thought they were a photograph. Now these are considered some of his most boring works. But it was this amazing understanding of the basics that allowed him to warp perception and be original.

Learn all you can. Be an expert. The crazy notion that innovation is created by outsiders-  is rarer than a unicorn at the beach. Often experts who study the details for years are the ones that finally see something new. Darwin’s theory of evolution came after years and years of studying nature. Only an expert could put all the pieces together to figure out something so wild and new.

Critique your work!

A big part of creating/producing is rework. Don’t be afraid of it. Even the masters didn’t get it right the first time. Picasso once said of his friend George Barque, “Almost every evening, either I went to Barque’s studio or he came to mine. Each of us HAD to see what the other had done during the day. We criticized each other’s work. A canvas wasn’t finished until both of us felt it was.”

Finding a good partner who is willing to love you enough to tell you the truth is priceless. Their unadulterated comments can push you to move further ahead than you thought possible. Take comments to heart and then decide which ones count and which ones are trash. The ones that count make things simpler and better. The ones that are trash usually make things more complex and confusing.

Now get out there and produce. Try, try, try, or your idea will die.


What serves you well when trying to show others your innovative ideas? Please share below in the comments.


Back To Top