Spiral into Focus / WOBS
The real answer to being innovative and efficient is to focus on what you love and are best at - then trusting that your life can be creative and expansive within your special niche.
This does not mean doing away with innovative brainstorming - crucial to both inspiring new ideas and acknowledging all relevant elements.
Brands and their agencies are more effective when they apply this to their creative agenda. Simply focus on key goals (increasing revenues is a good one that too often gets forgotten) and be as creative as you already are within this agenda. You are not selling out by selling stuff... you are doing your job!
Jim Collins sheds valuable light on this in "The Hedgehog Concept" from his inspiring book Good to Great - see my Summer Reading review of it here
It is challenging to take in all the business issues and creative conflicts as you follow the spiral to the center of the goal. Remember to enjoy (and learn from) the ride... then focus in on the task.
And now ... introducing a new acronym - WOBS.
WOBS = With Out Breaking Stride
You know partnerships that work must engage all parties. You use WOBS when you want to inspire new connections and make them last. One example is when I delegate a task. I make sure that the person already has a similar agenda as my task (such as calling on the same clients/prospects). The person can easily add my agenda without breaking their stride.
The key is to have this person see the value of relevantly expanding their conversation... they can get more out of the same effort... the sum value is greater than the parts.
FYI - WOBS works well with Netweaving