The Proximity Paradox: How to Create Distance from Business as Usual and Do Something Truly Innovative

Alex Varricchio and Kiirsten May. ECW, $18.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-77041-532-4
In this invigorating debut business guide, Varricchio and May, co-owners of the UpHouse marketing agency, propose that “proximity” to a challenge can often directly interfere with one’s ability to solve it. At a time of intense competition for customers and pressure to innovate, the authors find that the kind of long-held and intimate experience with a market that many consider an asset is actually killing the original thinking needed in business. The authors go on to discuss how an outside perspective can jump-start ideas insiders would never have conceived. They explore the downside of efficiency (namely the monotony it nurtures), and the benefit of shaking things up to create “distance,” or a fresh perspective. Varricchio and May discuss how to create distance from the org chart, to avoid the rigid stratification of responsibilities they experienced firsthand while working at big ad agencies. On a similar note, they urge businesspeople to gain a perspective independent from the industry they operate in, with “its... code of accepted activities and behaviors” dictating what ideas are and aren’t acceptable. Marketers and those tasked with innovation will find this work full of food for thought. It’s a much-needed perspective on how to escape inside-the-box thinking. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 04/07/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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