TAXI’s Paul Lavoie has no doubt about the power of Doubt

Paul Lavoie

Day one opening keynote presentation by Paul Lavoie

Canadian marketing and advertising legend Paul Lavoie, chair and co-founder of TAXI, got DesignThinkers 2010 off to a highly inspired start today with his keynote speech on the role doubt can play in the success of great ideas and accomplishments.

Calling it “the world’s greatest shi* disturber,” Lavoie said doubt is behind his own success and it should be
behind yours, too.

“Doubt is a catalyst for positive change. Doubt tells us there’s got to be a better way. Doubt challenges popular beliefs, opinions and ideologies,” Lavoie told a rapt audience that packed the 1,300-seat John Bassett Theatre today. “Doubt within the creative process is positive – it challenges us to open our minds to all the possibilities. So don’t let doubt make you uncomfortable because it drives new thinking – which is crucial for all of us in the idea business. Doubt the conventional and create the exceptional.”

Lavoie went on to introduce his new book – titled, what else, DOUBT – and provided compelling examples of what he calls history’s “disciples of doubt” – those people famous or not-so-famous who made the world a better place by balancing skepticism with optimism.

“Disciples of doubt” featured in his book, to be released next month on Amazon, include: the Zimbabwe architect whose unconventional design was inspired by African termites; the dad who taught his blind son braille using Lego blocks; the founder of Sony, who invented the Walkman in the face of endless naysayers who said it would never go anywhere; Terry Fox, whom no one believed could run his Marathon of Hope; and Thomas Edison, who tried and failed over 1,000 times before successfully designing the light bulb.

“Edison did not give up because he believed that each failure brought him closer to success. The disciples of doubt all learned to deal with rejection and overcome it,” Lavoie commented during in 30-minute presentation. “So make no work for you because no can inspire, motivate, perfect and warn you in the most positive way imaginable.”

He concluded with some vivid examples of successful TAXI ad campaigns that grew out of his philosophy, including those for Mini, Telus, Nike and Viagra.

“Embrace doubt. It forces you to open your mind and embrace change!”


MARK NUSCA for ADOBE PR in Canada

About rgddesignthinkers

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) is the professional body for graphic designers in Ontario. RGD grants graphic designers who qualify the right to use the designations Registered Graphic Designer and R.G.D., a quality signal of standards of professional practice. RGD has approximately 2800 members. Attracting over 1,000 participants and a full line-up of fascinating speakers, DesignThinkers is Canada’s largest, most important graphic design event. It’s an occasion to listen, learn and interact with peers from across the country.
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