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How creative thinking and teamwork saved my job

Every challenge is just another opportunity for collaborative creative problem-solving.

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Every challenge is just another opportunity for collaborative creative problem-solving.

Photo credit: Denis Ndavi

It happened some time in the late 90's. I was a young feisty Marketing Manager in the hottest radio station in town. Incidentally, my twin brother Eric was the station's creative manager. Every year, the station would throw a big party for our top clients. That year, we decided to hold it at the new bowling alley.

Being the core team to create the event, it was down to me and my bro to make it happen. So I checked out the venue at Soin Arcade, booked it for the event and got to work creating the invitation cards and everything else - catering, entertainment, you name it. The company threw tons of money into the exercise.

On the evening of the event at 5pm, nobody had shown up - which was odd, since we were renowned for holding the hottest parties and guests would usually start trickling in from 4pm! I glanced at the invitation card again and a cold shiver ran down my spine. I had mixed up the address. Instead of Soin Arcade, the card read Sound Plaza, another building round the corner!

OMG!!!!! We're going to be fired for sure! My brother Eric and I contemplated, counting the fortune that had just gone down the drain plus the irreparable client relations damage. Not to mention going down in history as the biggest screw-ups of all time!

So, I the marketer and my twin, the creative ganged up. While Eric stayed behind and held the fort at the Soin Arcade bowling alley, I dashed to the nearby printing shop and got to work. Armed with my glossy full-colour printouts, masking tape and cash from the ATM, I charmed the building security at Sound Plaza into letting me put up my signs with the station logo reading "Thanks for paying attention folks! Now the real party's over at Soin Arcade!"

I'd then receive the guests in batches on the steps of the first building and stroll with them to the other building, where the real action was, where my brother would welcome them. We did that 5 or so times and within an hour, our venue was full. I left the signs at the other venue for the rest of the night.

When bewildered guests would come in, we'd explain it away as a 'twin experience'. The party, as usual, rocked and made the entertainment pages. Our CEO never suspected a thing. A year later, my brother was poached by an ad agency for bigger bucks while I got promoted to become the station's Marketing and Creative Manager.

You don't have to have an awesome twin brother like mine to learn that creativity and teamwork can turn around any situation. In fact, every challenge is just another opportunity for collaborative creative problem-solving.

Got any tales to tell? Please share them!

This article was originally published here by Denis Ndavi, an accomplished Marketing & Media professional.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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