Creative Ventures Newsletter
Volume #98 - April 2014

At Creative Ventures there is a certain excitement around the challenge of customizing our existing ideas to fit very specific client needs.  It causes us to focus our strategy around the goal structure of our client and provides us fresh insight into a wide variety of industries.  It also provides a firm proving ground for the applicability of our core concepts.  March was filled with these types of projects.

AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: An Experience Quest:  This is our field trip platform in which we design an interactive experience based around increasing the scale and scope of the client experience.  We had the honor of working with 23 top female financial advisors and created a full-day experience that gave them a unique and dynamic repositioning of their client experience strategy.

REPEATABLE SUCCESSFUL ACTS This is the updated version of our sales program that identifies power behaviors shared by sales professionals from seven different industries.  We introduced the platform to a new group of financial advisors and customized the menu of choices based on their sales strategy.

WHY WE LOVE THE MOVIES:  I continue to be amazed at the success of this platform.  The primary idea was to create something entertaining around my great love of movies that could become a value add program that clients could use to reward their top clients.  It was something  uniquely different.  The first application was for charities that used it as a fund-raiser.  Next, I created a business module that reveals the strategy used by Hollywood and demonstrates how it is transferable to ANY business.  Now we have the program actively scheduled for multiple applications, and last month I was honored to have the chance to share the latest platform for a group in Chicago.

CUSTOM APPLICATIONS:  Our latest ideas are being leveraged in a couple of new industries.  We are launching initiatives around creating advocate clients using a Pareto strategy to leverage the top 20% of our client’s customer base.

April is full of client meetings and office time where we can work on our latest ideas.


“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”

[Leonardo Di Vinci]

I loved watching episode three of the new version of the engaging and entertaining COSMOS TV series shown on Fox and National Geographic.

In 1980 Ann Druyan, Steve Soter, and Carl Sagan launched the original PBS series COSMOS, and so began the introduction of the wonders of the universe to the general viewing public.  The 13-part series became the most widely watched PBS program in history.  We were hooked on the marvels of understandable science.

I am astonished at the mastery of the new narrator, Neil deGrasse Tyson, as a storyteller.  By connecting fact with story he made knowledge accessible. Through the art of story, deGrasse Tyson has once again opened the gates of the universe to everyone.  Complex issues become clear.  Scientific laws become applicable... and the vastness of space becomes understandable.  That is the glorious power of story.  This application of story has been the backbone of Creative Ventures’ strategic platform THE ONCE UPON A TIME PROJECT: The Art of Crafting and Telling Story.

Story is gaining rapid traction among our corporate clients as a new communication strategy.  They are investing in ways to move their client interactions to story. If you are looking for deep involvement, connections that transcend marketing language, then you need stories.

Engaging in story happens at two distinct levels:

Crafting:  This is the genesis, the design of story.  It involves taking the goal from one point to another in a manner that turns the facts into a living breathing narrative, a compelling connection of ideas.

Telling:  This is the delivery method for story.  Stories can be told in a variety of approaches, verbally, written, in various media methodologies, but they all share a strong element of captivating the receiver.

This was the challenge for COSMOS, to craft and tell a story that gains engagement around some of the key questions of our human condition: What is going on in the night sky?  Why do the planets move?  What are those occasionally appearing comets?  What’s with all those stars?  The solution they came up with was to create a story connection between the ideas and the people that created them.  Tell us about the strange friendship between astronomer Edmond Halley (yeah, the Halley of Halley’s Comet) and mathematician and thinker Isaac Newton.  Show us the way the ideas of the invisible force of gravity came about and allow us to share in the impact these ideas had.

This is the essence of our ONCE UPON A TIME PROJECT in full form.

I know your business is complex.  It deals with a variety of corporate, commercial, and professional aspects.  It has trade language and industry specific concepts.  But, is it more complex than the invisible force that controls the movement of the cosmos?

If you are looking for a new level of engagement, an increase in understanding the value you bring…if you want connections, both internal and external, that will elevate how different you are from your competition and will create a living breathing chain of communication… tell your clients your story.  Commit to making story crafting and telling a key communication strategy.  Open their minds and provide a story that will act as an invitation to join you in a compelling, value-filled relationship.

"The universe is made up of stories, not atoms."

[M. Rukeyser]


NEWS IS BIG TIME:  The Pew Report on the state of the news media just came out, and it’s not as grim as in the recent past.  Digital news players are becoming more serious about journalism and news.  Heck, even the web site Buzzfeed now has a news crew of 170.  There are 5,000 news writers and reporters working at over 30 major digital news outlets.  Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, has sunk $250 million into 1st Look Media.  Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe.  Warren Buffett’s crew has acquired 28 local newspapers at a cost of about $344 million.  These investors are betting on print media.  About 22.5 million folks watch an evening news program.  Things are looking up for the news!


SOCIAL MEDIA IS A BIG DEAL:   I know that everyone has an idea about how to leverage social media to connect with the up and coming buying generation, but when the facts come in, you’d better have a clear strategy.  Teen Vogue Magazine just did a HUGE survey of its readers and discovered that 85% of the respondents had been driven to purchase something after seeing it or reading about it on a social media site.  85%!  They use a three part social pathway:  1. See it:  Instagram is their platform for “seeing.”  2.  Search it:  They use YouTube for videos showing the product.  3.  Shop it:  They check reviews and comparison shop.  You may not be selling to Teen Vogue readers now, but you will be!


THE MASTER OF MYSTERY:  No one understands the impact of mystery better than director-producer JJ Abrams.  From the re-boot of the Star Trek franchise to legendary TV series such as Lost and Fringe, he is known for keeping his film activity TOP SECRET.  Abrams has been granted the mantle of bringing the next chapter of the Star Wars saga to the screen in Episode VII.  Nothing about the story plot has escaped his cone of silence until now.  In what is his equivalent of shouting from the highest mountain, JJ has let us know that Episode VII will be set 30 years after Episode VI  (Return of the Jedi) and will feature three new young heroes.  The release date is set for 12/18/15. 

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