Fuel for Ideas

Ben Therrien is Vice President of Creative Programming at MSLGROUP North America.

Idea Fuel – Curiosity + Courage 

The big idea is dead.  Feel free to take a moment and rejoice, as you’ll never have to sit down in front of a blank screen, fresh piece of paper or poorly attended brainstorm hunting for the elusive “big idea” again. 

Hyperbole aside, the days of being limited to creating programs centered on big splashy event or stunts, which lived solely to drive earned media are long gone.  

Today our avenues for sharing our client’s message have expanded dramatically (social platforms, content marketing, influencers etc.) creating a world where earned media is extremely important, but not our only measure of success.   

Instead of big ideas, I’d like to propose that we should be in search of greatness. The good news for you and everyone else in our industry is that greatness comes in many many forms.  

But where does it start?  Where does greatness come from?  As a creative, I often hear that good ideas come from creative people, but that’s just not true.  I believe that great thinking comes from two places… curiosity and courage.  


Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents.  I’m only passionately curious.”  

While he may have been downplaying his abilities ever so slightly, he’s completely correct that those abilities would have generated nothing without an insatiable curiosity.  

Curiosity causes us to question the brief, question the consumer segment, and question everything we know about a project or problem until we believe it, because it’s only when we have fully bought in that greatness can begin.  


Courage is a simple trait, but it takes work.  Courage is the difficult path.  Courage is late hours and uncomfortable conversations. 

Without courage, great thinking is just that…a thought. It is courage that puts the approach on paper, courage that brings it before the client with passion and confidence, and courage that brings it to life in all of its fantastic glory.  We could all stand to be a bit more courageous.   


As I said, great thinking can be brought to life in an infinite number of forms. 

With technology and consumer consumption habits changing, so are our abilities and options to bring great thinking to life.  From content to influencers to emerging social platforms, where we plant the seed of our great idea is just as important as the idea itself.    

As the lines between marketing disciplines blur, we’re amazingly well positioned to take our inherent understanding of earned message delivery, specifically the ability to craft a story that people will want to hear versus be forced to hear, and use that to develop vibrant work that’s as interesting as it is entertaining. 

Greatness is waiting for us. 

It’s out there in the ether ready to be harnessed and brought to life.  All we need is a little curiosity and a dash of courage…

This post is a part of our People’s Insights report The Future of Creativity, in which experts from MSLGROUP and some from Publicis Groupe identify 15 drivers for engaging creatively in 2015.


The Future of Creativity – People's Insights by MSLGROUP

People's Lab

People's Lab

People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietary crowdsourcing platform & approach that helps organizations tap into people’s insight for innovation & change.

3 Responses to “Fuel for Ideas”

  1. MSLGROUP Peoples Lab (@PeoplesLab)

    Fuel for Ideas – @MSLGROUPNA’s Ben Therrien on #FutureofCreativity http://t.co/uDoIDWyi42

  2. MSLGROUP Peoples Lab (@PeoplesLab)

    Without courage, great thinking is just that…a thought – @MSLGROUPNA’s Ben Therrien on #Creativity http://t.co/uDoIDWyi42

  3. Pascal Beucler (@pbeucler)

    Fuel for Ideas – @MSLGROUPNA’s Ben Therrien on #FutureofCreativity http://t.co/UtAbkY0UXg


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