Monday, December 30, 2013

Improve Your Employees' Reading and Writing Skills With Us

If you want to do well in business, you have to have two major skills that practically nobody has:

1) Writing

2) Speaking

Both are communication skills. Communication skills are the backbone of all success, no matter what the area. Scientists who communicate best tend to be the best known scientists. Artists by definition are great artists when they communicate well (and complexly). The most successful business people are those who communicate well.

Indeed, Carmine Gallo points out that speaking skills is the one skill set that will boost your value the most.

As a teacher, I have had to develop strong speaking skills. The better your speaking and presentation skills, the more your students like you. They'll even let you present difficult information and be a tough grader.

More, with my background in writing, I have come to understand the necessary ingredients for clear, informative, and interesting communication in general, and writing in particular.

And as a teacher, I am familiar with the difficulties faced by businesses in having employees who cannot write. I get them first. They come out of high school practically illiterate and almost completely incapable of writing a sentence with even the grammar and syntax of the way they speak (which is itself a problem). Then too many professors don't even want to teach writing. More, I have been told (not at the university at which I now teach, but at community colleges) not to teach grammar and syntax (you know, the rules of the game) when I teach writing. The focus is on "process" rather than content-knowledge. And there is in fact a great deal of content-knowledge in language skill development.

The end result, as everyone in business knows, is employees who cannot write or speak clearly.

This is something we at Camplin Creative Consulting aim to help resolve for businesses.

One of the great benefits of working directly with businesses is that they do not have ideological restraints on how people are taught a skill -- they just want the skill taught. They want people who read and write and speak well. And we here at Camplin Creative Consulting can teach your employees these skills -- by focusing on teaching them the rules of the game, by having them read well-written works, by showing them where they are making mistakes in their writing, and why those are mistakes. By working simultaneously on speaking and writing skills, your employees will develop both more quickly.

Now is the time to get your employees up to speed on their writing and speaking skills. Camplin Creative Consulting can help.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Telling Your Product's Story

One of the main services I can provide as a consultant is by ability to tell a story. As a writer of plays and short stories, and with a Master's degree in creative writing, focusing on short stories, I am an expert at creating stories.

Now, what does a company need with a storyteller? Do all companies need the kinds of services I can provide?

All companies who wish to sell something to someone needs a storyteller. As Jonathan Gottschall argues, the most effective ads are those that tell stories. People spend most of their day telling stories, listening to stories, watching stories (television shows or movies). We understand the world through stories. We best remember information when we get that information through stories.

What information do you want to provide? Information about your product. If you want people to best remember your product, tell them a story about it. Better, include them in your story.

One of the things stories do is allow your audience members to empathize. If they see a story, and that story has a character in it, your audience will empathize with that character. And if that character likes your product (or dislikes your competitor's product), then your audience will similarly feel like (or dislike). People who like your product buy your product.

This is why you need a storyteller. Any time you decide you are going to change your advertisements, look around at your team. Is there a storyteller in there amongst them? If not, give me a call -- I will be happy to join your team and show you how to tell your product's story.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Want to Stay In Business? Stay Creative

Businesses now more than ever need to be perpetually creative in order to stay in business. The Internet and globalization together have contributed to this situation. Thus, it is important that businesses foster as much creative intelligence in their businesses as possible. In Creative Intelligence, Bruce Nussbaum lays out what he calls the five competencies of creative intelligence:

1. Knowledge Mining
2. Framing
3. Playing
5. Pivoting

The last one is the movement from creating to making, which emphasizes the fact that having a great idea isn't enough. You have to follow up on that great idea and actually make something.

All of these are features of every great artist who has ever existed. Great poets have read the great poets, and even memorized many of their poems. All artists engage in framing. Art is play (a nonserious thing done seriously). And the artist has to move from conception to making, and actually make the work. The same is true in business. You have to know the history of your field -- and not just of your field, but of many other fields, related and unrelated. You cannot know where a great idea may come from. But it will not come from an ignorance of the history of your area of business.

Artists are particularly good at all of the areas listed. One could make the argument that every team whose purpose is to be creative really needs a poet, a playwright, a painter, a sculptor, a musician, etc. on their team to keep the team thinking as truly creative people think, and to keep the moving on to turning the ideas into things. Businesses who do not hire creative consultants -- whether as outside consultants or by direct hire -- are going to be at a disadvantage to those businesses that figure out they need such people.

Think about how people in theater -- playwrights, directors, and actors in particular -- can provide a creative team with considerable creative input when it comes to "framing," given the three kinds of framing:

1. Narrative Framing, or "how we interpret the world" (35)
2. Engagement Framing, or "how we interact with each other" (35)
3. What-If Framing, or "how we imagine the unthinkable to innovate beyond our wildest dreams" (35)

Every artist engages in What-If Framing. That's what they all do. It's the very soul of being an artist.

Directors and actors would be particularly adept at helping with Engagement Framing, as that is, in many ways, their main area of expertise.

And playwrights, novelists, short story writers, etc. would certainly be able to help a business with their Narrative Framing, helping a business to tell the best story to get the most business form the most people.

The missing piece in most businesses is the presence of creative consultants. If you want to keep in business, you have to keep creative.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Consulting Work at the University of North Texas at Dallas

I have recently successfully finished two projects for UNT-Dallas.

The first project was the creation of a Non-Course-Based Option (NCBO) for those needing developmental reading and writing. Although I was teaching developmental writing as an adjunct at UNTD at the time, the NCBO development project was separate from that and I was paid separately for developing this program, which will be the foundation of the program at UNTD.

The second project was an editing job to edit the Faculty Handbook.

I am hopeful the UNTD administration will continue to keep me in mind for these kinds of projects.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pharmacy on a Bicycle Released

The product of my consulting for the Bush Center, Pharmacy on a Bicycle: Innovative Solutions to Global Health and Poverty is now available. You can see my acknowledgement on pg. x of the Introduction. It was released early -- which made it right in time for the grand opening of the Bush Library at Southern Methodist University.