By Stephen Burkhart

The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

 how jeopardy inspires creative communications

You can learn a lot by watching Jeopardy!. I don’t mean the endless trivia that marches across the TV screen every night. What I’m talking about is the backstory of the new champion Arthur Chu. He has stirred up controversy (yes, controversy has even struck Jeopardy!) because he dares to challenge the status quo.

He relentlessly chases the highest value questions first. Critics cry foul … it’s tradition to start from the top with the easiest questions first.

He refuses to bet much on the categories he knows too little about. Thus the $5 wager on a sports category.

He also jumps around from category to category to confuse his competitors and gain an edge.

He hunts around the board to increase his odds of finding those Daily Double squares – all to increase his chances of winning. 

As Chu told Yahoo! Finance:

“I thought [my strategy] would draw attention … But I never understood why this traditional way of playing the game has been kind of locked in.”  

Think about it. If only more businesses would just take the time and have the guts to change things up – especially in their communications programs – their success rates would go up, just as Arthur’s did. Arthur won five games in a row and is on the cusp of qualifying for the all-time champion’s show. 

It comes in many forms, but fundamentally, fear is what holds back companies. Fear of being criticized. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear, fear, fear eclipses opportunity.

Think of all of the transformative thinkers. Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Pete Carroll … Arthur Chu? They may have had some fear about tackling the status quo at first, and yet they did it anyway. You should too.   

It could get your business out of jeopardy and into the opportunity zone.   

 

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