A Lesson About Creativity

12 Dec ’08

One of the reasons I do what I do is because it puts me in such close contact with people who are very creative. Spending this much time with creative minds can be very exciting – I see a lot of fascinating and wonderful ideas before they’re released into the wild, and I often get a good look at the creative process as it’s happening. It’s constructive, positive and very affirming. That’s good for the soul.

A great example of this is a group of people I’ve been working with lately. This group has, in a matter of days, put together a holiday party we’re calling #HoHoTo, to be held on Monday December 15th at The Mod Club here in Toronto (sorry, it’s sold out!!).

That’s right: sold out – in a matter of days. And The Mod Club’s capacity is over 600 people. How did this happen?

Well, there are a lot of answers to that question, but I think the best one is that it happened because of creativity. First, and most important, is the community that’s involved in this party – as we say on the site, “It’s for geeks, phreaks, webheads, twitterfiends, techies, media, marketing, and PR types and all their friends.” So, we were appealing to a group of people who are exceptionally open-minded and supportive of new ideas. They recognize a creative effort, and respond to it with understanding and enthusiasm. But also very important was the creativity of the organizing group itself (you can see a list of these wonderful people here). At every step of the way this group said “yes” to new ideas. There was no ego on display, no position-taking, no territoriality and no negativity. The team treated the exercise as a giant whiteboard – it filled the board with ideas and then arranged them into what we now have. I’m convinced that this attitude was core to our ability to take a pretty complex challenge and make it happen efficiently – and have a lot of fun doing it.

I’m more convinced than ever that knowing how to say “Yes”, and treating others with the generosity of spirit that this requires, is vital to meeting challenges well – in your business, and in life.

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