Posted on July 24, 2013
This past weekend we hosted our first Creativity Camp for Families at Soho House Toronto. It was such a great event. We had kids of all ages, parents, grandparents, twins and sibling groups dancing, playing and collaging together.
Though this weekend’s programming was aimed at kids aged 6-12 we had two super toddlers get in on the action and they were great. They drew and toddled and explored. It was a fantastic reminder that creativity is about having fun first and that age limits certainly don’t apply on that front.
As mentioned we had an awesomely adventurous pair of twins who were bubbly and full of stories about their favourite arts activities as their dad and grandmother shared in the fun. Two brothers and a sister brought their dad too which was great and not only did they make some amazing sketchpad collages but the boys got straight down to work filling the books with awesome drawings while their little sister showed off some fantastic dance moves.
I don’t know if you know this but Soho House has a great photo booth. One superkid headed straight there and he and his dad took photos which they incorporated into their collages. It was such a great idea and is already inspiring future activities at the Campus!
I had SO MUCH FUN creating and playing with this group and Soho House was a welcoming and supportive venue to work with so hopefully we’ll be working with them again to host future Creativity Campus workshops.
What inspiring or creative stuff did you get up to this past weekend? Care to share?
Posted on June 19, 2013
Dear Cultivate & Create followers,
I’m sorry I’ve been absent!
I’ve spent the past week or two reassessing, rejuvenating and reinspiring. As the last post notes we’re also repositioning here at The Creativity Campus.
Part of this means marketing less, learning more and creating in our own lives to better inform our understanding of clients. That said I wanted to share with you some amazing developments.
We’ve begun one on-one-creativity coaching this week. This work, aimed at those who are struggling in some way to bring their best ideas to life, is incredibly fulfilling and interesting.
Though very flexible it currently entails a weekly meeting (in person or on the phone) with a client to discuss their work and their concerns. From there we offer support and strategies to help address the obstacles. These can come as routines, activities or simple conversations. The programs are custom fit to each client and their needs.
Right now I’m working primarily with writers and designers but this coaching is also intended for entrepreneurs, CEOs and professionals whose work is dependent on coming up with or presenting ideas.
It is also beneficial for those who are looking for stimulation or support when developing corporate strategies or workplace processes that call for innovation at a deep level. So much of this is about environment, staff programs and leadership so it often includes office visits and work with relevant staff members.
With this in mind I have spent the morning mentoring a new cohort of entrepreneurs at a local incubator. It was incredibly inspiring. The energy and openness of the founders was infectious and I feel very lucky to be working with such a great group of smart and ambitious people.
As part of this experience I spoke much about corporate culture and the importance of leadership and passion. When I got back to my office I opened one of my favourite blogs and read this article, 30 Lessons for Living.
It’s full of great points collected from thousands of interviews with “the wisest Americans”. So much resonated but the advice on work was particularly interesting.
Find Happiness at Work
One of the most striking points is what the thousand-plus experts didn’t say.
No one— not a single person out of a thousand— said that to be happy you should try to work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.
No one— not a single person— said it’s important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it’s real success.
No one— not a single person— said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power.
You need Interpersonal Skills
Their consensus: no matter how talented you are, no matter how brilliant— you must have interpersonal skills to succeed.
Everyone Needs Autonomy
Career satisfaction is often dependent on how much autonomy you have on the job. Look for the freedom to make decisions and move in directions that interest you, without too much control from the top.
So much of what matters when one looks at successful corporate culture is soft skills based. It’s not about firmly quantifiable metrics or dollar based CBAs. Culture is what makes employees love their work and want to stick around to make sure it’s delivered in the best possible way. It’s what helps them feel proud of their achievements and encourages them to band together as a team to address challenges when times get tough.
The best leaders recognize that amazing human capital is the most rare commodity and that holding on to it is difficult and important. They invest in professional development and recognize their employees are unique and human and have a range of needs and priorities that should be acknowledged.
I’m not suggesting that companies should spend willy nilly, handhold excessively or indulge unreasonable demands or poor attendance however it is often meeting the smallest requests (like flexible work hours) or instituting seemingly tiny sentimental incentives (acknowledgement for an imaginative idea, strong pitch or effective community building event) that fosters the greatest loyalty.
The advice above really reflects that. People want to love the company they work for, to enjoy their office and to feel ownership and pride in their work and the fact is – the CEO, company or founder is the first to reap the rewards if they do.
Thanks for subscribing and for being patient with our Campus as it grows. We love our work and helping our clients achieve their dreams.
Do get in touch with any questions, curiosity or feedback – we’d love to hear from you!
Posted on June 4, 2013
Dolly Parton once said, “You can’t change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails.” Those of you who registered for our summer camps will have received your email this morning letting you know that we’re adjusting ours.
Though we’ve received great support and interest in our summer program it’s become clear that the costs aren’t lining up quite as expected and, as a result, The Creativity Campus is changing tack.
Instead of focusing on the daily camp this summer we’ll be honing in on our weekend workshops for parents and children and our Harnessing Creativity events for adults.
I’ll also be coaching entrepreneurs as a corporate culture mentor at one of Toronto’s leading technology incubators.
In keeping with the passion behind The Creativity Campus, we’re exploring, creating, inspiring and connecting.
Our first parent and child workshop will be on July 20th at a particularly fruitful space (more details to come!) and many more unique events are on the way.
Just as I began writing this, trying to come to grips with sharing the news and feeling a little disappointed, Oprah’s 2013 commencement speech at Harvard crossed my desk. She encountered her hardest professional moments after she launched OWN last year and in the speech talks about how she intended to turn her ship around.
No surprise, it’s an inspring address. Thank you Oprah, for the reminder that life is just trying to move us in another direction…
Today’s a day to remember, those who succeed see challenges as opportunities for innovation and growth. We’re taking this as a chance to focus in, to get more specific and deliver even more valuable strategies to kids, parents and business people.
Where’s your opportunity today?
Posted on May 30, 2013
Posted on May 29, 2013
Jason Silva is a journalist, filmmaker and connoisseur of philosophy. For years he worked as a presenter for Al Gore’s network Current TV but now his work can be found on his youtube channel Shots of Awe.
To my mind his creativity lies in taking something he is passionate about, philosophy and examination, and translating it into a medium that is thought provoking, beautiful and stimulating. I happened upon his work yesterday as part of Discovery’s new channel TestTube and I’m so happy I did.
Here’s a piece of Silva’s recent work – I hope you find it as exciting as I did!