Saturday, October 10, 2009

kopius kick in the pants

Have you ever felt like your brain was stuck in a particular gear, or a certain staleness had entered your gray matter? It's pretty common. I think when this happens, there's nothing like going to a conference or mixing with other creative people for a while. This past week I attended the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit in Philadelphia (world's longest summit title), and served as a panelist at a workshop on creative ideation for the Philadelphia Ad Club.

As an audience member at the Summit, I got to sit and listen to other people talking about innovation, creativity and their process, and found it interesting that it can be very stimulated to hear someone share how they do exactly what they do every day, along with the challenges and successes they experience along the way. I have to admit, I did have a feeling going in of "I pretty much know all I need to know to do what I do, but let's see what others have to say about it." Bad habit. But we all do it. Even those who rail against it.

As a panelist at the Ideation Workshop for the Philly Ad Club, I had a chance to meet two very cool(very different) people who make a living coming up with new ideas and helping others find new ideas for their business. The worst thing would have been to sit next to two people who were clones of me, or approached things in the same manner I did. Or used the same facilitation approaches. They didn't. Which made it very valuable for me. Sarah Rottenberg from Jump Associates and Steve Mapes of Impact Unlimited are knowledgeable, passionate, friendly and fun.

That's why I love working in creative fields like advertising, brand marketing and innovation. It's the people. I mean who else walks around with a Tupperware container full of juicy, colorful magic markers, stickers and Post-Its? It's the diversity of people, opinions and personalities that gives us something new to always learn, and our mind some different place to go. By getting out and putting myself in different mixes of people and events, I must say my brain was really alive and was pushing neurons in places they haven't been, soaking in colorful points of view, and coming out of the haze with some fresh points of view around social media, how to deal with clients and how to beat the bureaucracy associated with team collaboration. For someone who reads a lot of books about the industry, innovation and creativity, I find there's nothing like getting out there, talking to people, listening to other people speak and speaking yourself. We all have a lot to learn and share, and doing so live and in person with other people is a rare and valuable treat. Thanks to all those who allowed me to do both.

Good stuff.
More soon.

(Photo: Sarah Rottenberg, Jump Associates, Steve Mapes, Impact Unlimited, me)

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