Last week, Roger and I attended the SummitUp conference held at Sinclair Community College organized by the many great Dayton creative associations.
The morning keynote from Todd Henry of Accidental Creative was worth the price of admission to the event.
He spoke of the creative process and how it’s easy to gravitate toward activities and environments that reinforce our expectations or existing beliefs. In other words, it’s easy to stay in our comfort zone and that we have to be committed to continuous improvement.
“The love of comfort is the enemy of greatness.” – Todd Henry
I’ve always been an advocate of a great work/life balance but it has changed thru the years to creating a creating rhythm. Brilliance at a moments notice begins with the fundamentals.
The fundamental elements to create rhythm are:
- Define the real problem or challenge, refine them, and cluster adjacent tasks. Don’t jump from conceptual to emails.
- Tame the “PING“; Things that distract you from being creative and productive. Emails, calls, and IMs can all distract and add up. Checking email every five minutes equals to checking it 24,000 times a year.
- Start circles with like-minded individuals/creatives who can contribute to ideas, help solve struggles in work, inspire us.
- Try “head-to-head” problem solving. Going head-to-head doesn’t always have to mean a competition. Share ideas and collaborate. Choose someone whose notebook you’d want to look through.
- Practice pruning; sometimes you have to say NO to things that will drain time/resources from you when better used for creative.
- Think “Whole Life” – Be mindful of big picture and commitments where you need to place energy. It is better to be effective than efficient.
- Engage in activities that stretch and create new skills.
- Create relevant experiences in your life.
- Take better notes and listen to your intuition. The quality of our notes equals the quality of our creative process.
- Try a ‘stimulus dive’ and get out of comfort zones and try something new or difficult. Put yourself in a position to experience something new to you.
- Try some unnecessary creative projects. When did you last spend time creating something for yourself and your own growth? Draw, build, or develop something on your own. Most of us started into design this way, doing only ‘work’ and not anything for your personal benefit can erode creativity.
- Try some idea time with yourself or work peers. Engage in activities to build your skills.
- Don’t rush! Rushing can equal mundane and imperfect work. Set your own style. Where you are putting your time determines your success or failure.
Tap your full potential and leverage your value. This will keep you FRESH! Remember: “Cover bands don’t change the world.”
So go out, generate brilliant ideas and explore new opportunities.
Tags: accidental creative, creating rhythm, creative, Dayton, FRESH, how to stay creative, Joe Gauder, summitup, todd henry
For the past few weeks, I have been getting updates and invitations about a grass-roots movement called Dayton’s Innovation Collaborative.
This past Thursday I was able to attend their meeting at c}space in downtown Dayton, OH.
The goal of the group is to help Dayton attract and foster more creative thinkers and doers, to help build and create new ideas and products here in Dayton. For many years with NCR, Lexis-Nexis, Reynolds & Reynolds, Wright Patterson AFB, and many more, Dayton was a hot-spot for new ideas and products that attracted new business and the cycle perpetuated itself.
Since so many companies have merged with others, or simply left for the coasts, Dayton has been somewhat forgotten. However, it is the group’s belief that there is still plenty of creativity and innovation in Dayton that just needs a place to be fostered. This is where the Innovation Collaborative comes in.
From engineers to artists to advertising creatives, the Innovation Collaborative gathers these individuals to tackle some of the designs and products that do not exist… yet.
The group is small and working to mature, but there are some cool things already going on … And the c}space location downtown on North Jefferson Street is very cool! That location has murals and paintings on almost every wall and is intended to be a hot-spot of creative ideas and growth in Dayton.
Some of the inventors and representatives at the meeting last week included:
- Dayton Patented – Of all the displays, Dayton Patented was the nicest. I spoke to Dayton Patented’s representative who worked for the City of Dayton. Like the Innovation Collaborative, Dayton Patented is focused on the area’s skills and innovation, specifically to create things and patent them! I kept thinking of Charles Kettering, who the city of Kettering is named for. He built the first starter for internal combustion engines here in Dayton. He and John Patterson of NCR and many others were ‘firsts’ in many industries, and were all from our Dayton. Dayton Patented has more information on their site at http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/pa/Pages/brandcampaign.aspx
- Building Economic Empowerment – This program works with inner-city and third-world countries to use local resources (especially youth) to design, plan, and build modern energy-efficient homes in their local communities. Michael Manuel was the representative I spoke to at the meeting, and they are currently completing a new high-efficiency home here in Dayton. More information for Building Economic Empowerment can be found at http://www.doitwalls.org/
- Grass Armor Grass Guard – This company has created and patented a product that is attached to the bottom of fencelines to stop weeds from growing. Dale Syx is the president and inventor of the Grass Guard, which is a track that is mounted to the bottom of the fence. A plastic enclosure is snapped into the track extending out from the fence just a few inches outwardly, and up just a few inches as well. Their product brochure states that using Grass Guard will eliminate the need to trim and will do away with the need to use harsh chemicals to kill the weeds that grow along fences. More information about Grass Guard can be found at http://www.grassarmor.com/.
- Dayton Diode – A couple of younger entrepreneurs had a robot that was on display. They were working to help establish a “Hackerspace” in Dayton. No, not the scary hackers you worry about on the computer, but a hacker of creativity and fabrication. Ron Love was the gentleman I spoke to, and he is working to find a space in Dayton where engineers of robotic systems on a small scale can work as members to have a space to build, share, create and develop robotic systems here in Dayton. More on Dayton Diode can be found at http://www.daytondiode.com/
- Outrageous River Derby – River Scape and Five Rivers Metro Park are partners with the Innovation Collaborative. They were getting folks to sign up for the Outrageous River Derby coming up in August. This event is free to enter, but only a small number of participants will be allowed to compete (sign up fast). The event challenges contestants to build a device that will float and move across water, that is NOT a boat or made from boat parts. You can learn more about the Metro Parks at http://www.metroparks.org/
- Sleepy Bird – Food, snacks and refreshments were provided by the IC and the band Sleepy Bird was on-hand to provide good live music. The band had a cellist and lead guitarist (who sounded like the Edge from U2), and some good vocals and accompaniment.
Tags: Building Economic Empowerment, Charles Kettering, city of Dayton, c}space, Dale Syx, Dayton, Dayton Diode, Dayton Patented, downtown Dayton, Five Rivers Metro Park, Grass Armor, Grass Armor Grass Guard, Hackerspace, IC, Innovation Collaboration, Innovation Collaborative, inventors, John Patterson, Kettering, MetroParks, Michael Manuel, NCR, North Jefferson Street, Outrageous River Derby, River Scape, Riverscape, robot, Roger Starnes, Sleepy Bird