Sarah Bernhardt once said, “Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”
And creativity spawns creativity.
We are in what some are calling a “creativity crisis.” One of the best talks I’ve heard around this topic was a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson, “How Schools Kill Creativity.” It’s an entertaining presentation that clearly lays out the crisis facing education and ultimately business. The solution to this crisis may be quite simple – an increased focus on creative play.
Recently I spent a few days with Gahlord Dewald at the Thoughtfaucet studios in Burlington, Vermont. We were working on a large consulting project and as part of our process we built in some time for us to brainstorm “red team” alternatives to business model canvases we created with the client team. Gahlord and I are very different people, you don’t have to look much past our appearance to pick up on the possibility that is true. And what is also true is that we share a common set of core values, especially around the creative process.
We planned specific times during our day to take breaks for physical activity to re-energize, clear our heads, and let ideas come out of that re-energized space. Energy creates energy. We actually had a long conversation about that very topic on one of the bike rides we took along Lake Champlain. It simply works. If you want more energy, don’t sit around, go spend some energy.
In that spirit, I brought with me a surprise for Gahlord. It came in the form of an activity designed to be purely creative, with no business purpose whatsoever. None. Zero.
A little background…
Several years ago when all of my kids were younger, we were sitting at our kitchen tables and a poem flew out of my mouth and it came out, almost instantly, in the form of a song. Well, a jingle really. It’s not that unusual for me. Sometimes little poems come out almost fully formed in the moment, like this poem called, “donuts, donuts.” You’ll notice a theme here in a bit. 😉
Now, I’m not sure if I really wrote this song or if I just put words to an already familiar tune. If I subconsciously stole it from somewhere, I’m hoping someone will let me know. At this point I don’t care. My kids love the song. They used to make me sing it over and over if we were eating grapes, so it holds a special place in my heart. I thought it would be fun to record the song and put it up on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify using Distrokid. (Thanks for the tip off on Distrokid, Mike Simonsen)
I knew Gahlord played the stand-up bass and knew he could figure out how to add a nice bass line to my little jingle. What I had not anticipated was that his wife would want to join in on the singing for our recording. So, after work one evening Gahlord, Meghan and I went back to his studio and just had fun. We just enjoyed the process of being creative and playful.
The result? Well, since we recorded it with a single microphone in a large warehouse space with traffic sounds floating through the windows, this recording is not going to win any sound editing awards. But the two hours we spent laughing and creating and singing and playing unleashed a wave of creativity that had a spill over effect. You can here the song here: Grapes, Grapes (live with Gahlord & Meghan Dewald) on iTunes, or Grapes, Grapes (live with Gahlord & Meghan Dewald) on Spotify.
Life begets life. Energy creates energy. Creativity spawns creativity.
Give it a try.