Many years ago, when I was just starting out in Marketing, I heard a story. It was called “My Grandma’s Pot Roast” and it was told as joke. It went something like this.
If you want to cook the best tasting pot roast in the world, you must follow these instructions. Take a five pound piece of prime beef and salt it to taste. Then, and this is crucial, make sure you cut both ends so that the meat has a rectangular shape and is no longer than ten inches. You can then place the meat in the oven, cook it at 400C for two hours and you will be guaranteed the perfect roast.
This method proved itself over many years. It never failed. It was written into many cookbooks and become accepted as the grilling gold standard. And the magic stroke, the flash of genius, was without a doubt the rectangular cut given to the meat.
Many years later, a journalist was writing an article on famous meat recipes and decided to interview Grandma, the creator of THE recipe.
When asked how she had perfected the technique of cutting the meat in a rectangular ten inch long shape she answered.
“I had a small oven. Anything larger than that would not fit.”
The same thing happens in the world of Advertising. The real origins of things become lost in the mist of time. Paradigms and legends develop. But we cling to the old ways because that’s how things have always been done. We preach change to our Clients and we fiercely resist it for ourselves.
Business reality is telling us that the creative process, creative briefs, who does what and how, and many other things are in need of drastic change.
All we need to do is to let go of Grandma’s Pot Roast and find other ways of cooking.