Brave and inspired By Project Isaac
As the CEO of Momentum Worldwide, a nontraditional agency that spans all facets of creative, media and ideation, Chris Weil knows how difficult invention can be. After all, he is credited with coining the term "phygital," which describes the increasing connection between the physical and digital world around us. Weil strives to bring what he calls a "total brand experience" to such clients as American Express, the U.S. Army and Microsoft.
It's one reason he was selected to serve as a judge for this year's Project Isaac Awards. In that spirit, Weil was asked to share his thoughts on invention. Interestingly, he expresses a desire to completely reinvent the agency structure from being execution-based to being growth-based. And he offers his thoughts on the difference between creativity ("inspired") and invention ("brave").
Adweek: What inventive solutions do you think your business/industry needs?
Weil: The industry needs the sort of invention that comes from asking, "What if we scrapped all of it and started over?" We'd need to invent our entire value proposition and our business model from scratch. We're currently focused on creativity and execution as our measures of success, and compensation is based primarily on HOW we do these two things. What if we started our client conversation focused on growth – the reason WHY we do this work together? We need to ask the fundamental question of, "What is our value proposition?" And I believe our answer to that is the ability to drive growth for our clients' brands and their business. If that is our starting point, then we change OUR value proposition to clients, and that changes our business model.
Adweek: How do you distinguish between creativity and invention?
Weil: Creativity is the idea, and invention is the action. At their best, simplest form, they are two sides of the same coin – a powerful, symbiotic relationship at the start of anything important. The invention is the hard part. Lots of people have ideas. Invention is the flawless execution, the elbow grease, the strategic risks and the lessons learned from mistakes. Creativity is inspired and invention is brave.