-British author Katherine Mansfield, 1922
Success can come from taking risks.
That's the common message throughout this issue of Point, the theme of which is risk. But taking risks is difficult. (Unless, of course, you're "Mad Money" host and former "stock-market junkie" Jim Cramer, our Q&A subject this month, who can't seem to stop himself from taking risks-even destructive ones.)
It requires pushing beyond fear of failure, ridicule, negative backlash-but mostly failure. In marketing and advertising, risk-taking and an entrepreneurial drive can result in grand achievements. Who can forget Apple's ground-breaking 1984 sledgehammer spot?
Of course, it can also fail miserably. New Coke. Enough said.
As executives, your job is to make decisions every day, and very few, I suspect, have clear-cut answers. Our cover subject this month, Lenovo CMO Deepak Advani, is an example of such an executive with tough choices to make. Staying true to the IBM ThinkPad brand promise of innovation is his charge, and he risks losing his core market if he makes one wrong move in marketing the product at the same time that he works to build the Lenovo brand in the U.S. and around the world.
But he recognizes the value of taking risks, and he pushes himself-and his company- to do so. "Judicious risk-taking is essential for growth, and that's true for people, companies and countries," he says.
Talking of innovation, we're making a change ourselves with this issue, moving from our standalone letter-sized format to a bigger format fully integrated into Advertising Age. Why integrate? Because while Point tries to provide information for senior marketers and the C-suite, a lot of other readers have told us they want and value its content too-and we want to make sure it's seen by all. We're devoting just as many pages as before and they will still be filled with provocative, insightful stories on the issues that marketers face today. Point's trademark clean design, powerful photography, personality profiles and in-depth features remain in tact, albeit on larger, more dramatic pages.
What debate would you like to start? What risks are keeping you up at night? Drop me a line at [email protected] Enjoy the issue.