Creative Ventures Newsletter
Volume #96 - February 2014

Oh my, what a start to 2014!

I hit the road on the third and didn’t stop until the thirtieth.  The whole month was a road trip launching new ideas and setting in motion strategies that will carry throughout the entire year.

A few highlights:

ADVICE VS. TRANSACTIONS and ADVOCACY ABOVE LOYALTY:  I created two customized strategy presentations that took a new and challenging look at key sales tactics and goals.  The idea of finding real value in the transference and exchange of knowledge is what forms a strong advisory model and is critical in creating long term relationships.  The pinnacle client is and always has been the advocate, a client who will sing your praises and move your market.  The ability to form advocacy client circles is a simple strategy around the leverage of your top clients’ patterns.

THE DNA OF LEADERSHIP:  The introduction of the results of our study that discovered 11 “markers,” or leadership behaviors, created a whirlwind of new business around teaching and implementing these repeatable leadership patterns.

THE ONCE UPON A TIME PROJECT:  We have clients changing their communication strategies from standard marketing and corporate speak to the power found in story crafting and telling.  This platform has moved to the top of our education bookings.

February picks right up where January ended with trips to Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Boston.  These are fantastic projects with both new and existing clients.

By the way, the “2013 Top 10 and Bottom 5 Movie List” is ready to go.  If you want a copy, send me an email and I will get it to you.

Believe it or not we have already sent out about 500 lists!


Transformation literally means going beyond your form.

-Wayne Dyer

Working on customized ideas, in which a client comes to us and asks for our input into specific strategies they are preparing to launch, always creates the challenge of molding our concepts and ideas to fit a very specific goal structure.  We worked on three of these projects in January, and as always we learned as much as we delivered.  We created…

THE IGNITING OF AN ADVOCACY MOVEMENT:  Advocates are the holy grail of client relationship outcomes.  An advocate becomes a sales partner.  If someone is willing to spread the word about you and your product/service, you gain momentum outside of your specific work.  They are taking a piece of their own reputation and passing it on based on their high level relationship with you.  While you are planning, meeting, and traveling, a cadre of your clients are also selling “you.”   This is golden, and an obvious goal of any sales program, yet it is surprisingly unexplored and underdeveloped as a specific strategy.

The movement to creating advocates is often traditionally viewed as a transition between elements of a client cycle, from loyalty to advocacy.  Yet “transition” is the wrong word; to be more accurate, the process is more of a transformation in the way you handle the client experience.  Creating advocates has to be a core strategy and an intentional attack point in your sales process.

Transitions are what happen at traffic lights, green, yellow, and red… simple and rather small.  The moon moves in transitions:  its waxing and waning are transitions called phases.  The moon remains the moon while it simply transitions from our perspective.  Transformations, on the other hand, are something significantly more.  Transformations deal with scale and are parts of bold, big ideas.

In 1965 a young high jumper from Portland Oregon, Dick Fosbury, transformed the track and field event of the high jump.  Traditionally, high jumpers had used a straddle technique to roll over the bar, but Fosbury developed a style of going over the bar backwards.  This style, known as the Fosbury Flop, won him the 1968 Olympic Gold Medal.  His radical approach forever transformed the event, and between 1972 and 2000, 34 of the 36 medals won in the high jump were won using the Fosbury Flop.  This was a TRANSFORMATIONAL event and full of risk, but Dick Fosbury elevated the world record over and over and won medal after medal with his idea to transform the sport.  It is that kind of thinking that changes paradigms and outcomes.

HBO transformed television with its bold attack on Sunday nights, the former bastion of network television, by creating its own original programming.  From 1977’s Inside the NFL through the upcoming 4th season of Game of Thrones (“Winter Is Coming”), HBO has transformed television and challenged other networks to keep up.  Breaking Bad, Justified, Dexter, and Sons of Anarchy are just a few examples of programs that resulted from the bold and transformational approach to entertainment birthed by HBO.


Big moves are strategically bold.  The reward of moving models is measured by gaining market advantage.  Create advocates by strategically attacking your existing sales process and leveraging your elite clients.  At Creative Ventures we apply to the concept of transformation the Pareto Principle, the classic 80/20 formula.  Create something spectacular for your top 20% and connect it with strategic actions and watch your advocates grow! 


HAPPY 30th , MAC:  2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh computer.  When the first Mac hit the market it was revolutionary in its look and graphic user interface…and in its price, coming in at around $2,500!  Even at its relatively high price, Apple sold 70,000 units in the first 100 days.  I was an early adopter, buying my first Mac in 1987. I am writing this newsletter on my MacBook Air and tip my hat and wallet to one of the most transformational companies of the past 100 years!  Bravo, Apple!  What’s next?


I HAVE ONE WORD FOR YOU--PLASTIC:   A lot is going on in plastics today.  Scientist Aagje Hoekstra, has developed “Coleoptera,” a plastic-like substance made from chitin found in darkling beetle shells that’s water and heat resistant up to 200 °C. And researchers at the University of Sao Paulo have developed a nanocellulosic material from coconut shells, agave, and pineapple that is 30% lighter and 3-4 times stronger than traditional plastic.  I wonder if Dustin Hoffman would treat the advice he got in The Graduate differently if he knew where “plastic” was actually going.


TAKING THE HASSLE OUT OF PARKING:  New York company Automation has created a way to eliminate looking for parking places in large garages.  They have created an automated parking-garage system with no searching, no valets, and no parking lot attendants.  The system has parked over 350,000 vehicles without an error.   Pull into the garage entrance and head to a designated parking room where a flat screen TV shows you how to position your car on a steel pallet.  Leave your car, swipe your credit card, and an automated hydraulic lift system moves your car to an open space in about 45 seconds.  It takes about 2 minutes to retrieve your car…and no tip needed.

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Steve Harvill • • Cell: 972-345-9480
Colin Harvill • • Cell: 214-794-1777