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Crossover Creativity

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Crossover Creativity

Real-life stories about where creativity comes from

Harriman House,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

What are marketers and creatives doing wrong? And what makes an idea really sell?

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Inspiring


Stand out from the competition by embracing “crossover creativity,” says creative director Dave Trott. Learn what marketers who are primarily relying on algorithmic formulas are doing wrong, and develop the mind-set you need to seize opportunities today. Taking inspiration from creative people and companies such as Picasso, Banksy and IBM, Trott demonstrates how going against the flow and connecting unexpected elements can result in moments of creative genius. Learn why effective branding is about so much more than dull facts and following trends, and why telling the truth is the best tactic.


Crossover creativity is the result of combining two seemingly disconnected ideas.

When you generate a creative idea, you harness the power of “recombinant thinking.” To understand recombinant thinking, imagine two different ideas plotted on a Venn diagram – the intersection area of these ideas is where something new takes form. New ideas occur when a reaction takes place between two existing things that you combine, resulting in a moment of “crossover creativity.” Maximize your chances of generating a new idea by remaining open to new perspectives and doing things differently, even if it disrupts your current understanding and patterns. 

Leveraging the potential of crossover creativity demands that you challenge traditional Western concepts of intelligence, especially those that dominate in marketing and advertising: Many view theoretical thinking as more valuable than practical thinking, but creative ideas have little value unless you can give them a practical application. 

Act on your ideas quickly and differentiate them from the thousands of ideas of other people. Remember, if “you snooze, you lose...

About the Author

Dave Trott is a creative director, copywriter and the author of several books, such as One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking and Creative Blindness (And How to Cure It): Real-Life Stories of Remarkable Creative Vision.

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