As well as Imaging Radio stations around the globe, I also co-host and Produce a podcast called "the Mojo Radio Show". Recently I was listening to an older episode with a guest by the name of Glenn Capelli. Glenn is a professional speaker and coach who has delivered messages of creativity, dynamic thinking, innovation and high-performance leadership to audiences around the world.
During the interview, Glenn told the story of one of the Creativity tools he uses and coaches to thousands of his clients. It's called "The Russian Brothers" and it goes a bit like this.
Say you've just finished roughing out a promo. You take a listen back, then apply the fist Russian brother (say it with a Russian accent) "Moreof". In other words, what should I do more of? What works in this promo? This could be anything from comedy in the script to music edits that are smooth and seamless, to a great compression on the final mix that's working its ass off. You will soon figure it out.
Once you've got that one nailed down, we come to the second brother "Lessof". Or, what could we take out of this promo? What do we need less of? Perhaps there's too much Telephone eq, or you've overdone the reverb.
The third brother "Ridof" pops his head up now. He comes with the question, "what's not working at all"? What do I need to get rid of? What's just not working, and will probably never work? Let's just get rid of it.
Finally, the brother's mad cousin drops by. He brings a whole new perspective. And this is where the charm of this whole system lies I think. His name is "Tossin", and he brings the question "what's something different I can toss in to the mix? What's that one thing that will make this promo special? ". It may be a grab, an awesome montage, or just that perfect piece of music that sets the piece on fire.
It's a really simple process, and you can apply it to more that just your work. It has changed my work immeasurably. Brother Ridof alone has saved me more time wasted on ideas that really didn't cut it than care to think of. And Tossin has saved more than the odd promo that was lacking some spark.
But more than just a way of thinking about the next big promo, imagine the possibilities of using the brothers to dissect your life in general. What about next time you wrap up a meeting with colleagues you apply the Russian brothers in the context of how you spent your time during that catch-up so that the next time you meet you get more out of the time you spend together? Or how about inviting the brothers next time you're planning (or forced into) a career change.
The Brothers can be put to use in so many situations in your life. I'm amazed at how powerful such a simple system can be. You can hear the full episode here. If you're serious about creativity, it's well worth a listen.
In the meantime, try the Brothers yourself next time you create a masterpiece. I'd love to hear the results.