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Musings from Vivid Sydney 2016

Year on year I find myself excitedly caught up in the wonderful vibe and energy of Vivid Sydney. I love experiencing our gorgeous city and community through the lens of light, sound and all things creative – it really captivates me.  So naturally I was thrilled and deeply grateful to gather with other curious minds and listen to great speakers at two of Vivid Sydney’s recent Ideas events.

From my musings (and scribbled notepad) I’ve summarised 3 creative ideas from these two events to help get cut-through for your business.

1. The alchemy of creativity – Have you got the right ingredients?

First, the ‘Alchemy of Creative Commercialisation: Learnings from success stories‘ event featured engaging speakers Michelle Duval (developmental and transformational coach and researcher), Adam Ross from MindShare and Creel Price from Investable.

The event promised to illuminate the core personal attitudes of creative individuals and teams for personal fulfilment and commercial success. I personally found it an awesome opportunity to explore and deconstruct my motivations and filters and consider how these guide my decision-making … and indeed my Coaching work.

All entrepreneurs and business leaders are alchemists in their way. And yet being an alchemist is so much more than simply the stress and mess of creating and ‘entrepreneuring’. It requires a magnificent cauldron of ingredients including deep self-awareness.

So I took a moment from stirring the pot to reflect on my own alchemy of creativity. The awareness that I gained at this event was about my preferences and tendencies:

  • for a healthy blend of alternatives thinking and applying order and procedures
  • towards sparking and continually evolving ideas versus starting with blank pages every time
  • deep trust of my ‘gut’, intuition and therefore ‘intrinsic validation’ versus relying too much on external reference
  • learning that in the mix of ‘viability, feasibility and desirability’ for any idea I’m strongest in the latter two.
  • to be ‘initiation-oriented’ rather than reflective and patient with my decision making (it’s the latent South African in me)

And I enjoyed a refreshing reminder, or tonic if you will, about the centrality and criticality of being ‘on purpose’ as a fully functioning and conscious agent of change with a clear mission and clear focus (yee haa!).

Coming back to the pot of ingredients, I learned that the creative chemistry flourishes through co-creation, collaboration and curation developed through great partnerships, playing to your strengths and the need to feel uncomfortable (which is all part of the fun of alchemy!).

So it begs the question, what’s in your cauldron? Do you have the right balance of self-awareness, consciousness and collaboration? I know I’m constantly reviewing the mix, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think works well.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of a twenty first century Renaissance, or the ‘entreprenaissance’ that Creel spoke of. He shared six frames of thinking that form a foundation for a new era of creation. If you’re curious, start here:

2. Visual storytelling makes for great stories

I’m totally hooked on the visual story telling of Jason Silva in ‘Shots of Awe’ and other inspirations and provocations.

Jason is a master visual storyteller, media artist and futurist who created the short film series described as ‘philosophical espresso shots for the mind’ that explore innovation, futurism, technology creativity and metaphysics of imagination. ‘Shots of Awe’ has received more than 13 million views. You can check it out here:

So let me pose this question – how could you rethink the way you communicate through visual storytelling? It certainly had me reflecting on how well we do this at Blue Seed, and how to stretch our creative ideas further.

A recent article by Business2Community explored the evolution of visual storytelling. They make the point that what’s better than a good story is a great story, with pictures. And how much easier technology has made it for us from blogs, social media, infographics, videos and more. What do you find works?

3. Creating content on purpose

The second panel talk I attended was on ‘creating cut through content’ with fabulous speakers from the fields of marketing, advertising and publishing.

As a Gen X-er, I was pleased to hear the hip millennials complain of the content proliferation weighing us all down in our time-poor and therefore selective reading existences (regardless of our age).  I am not alone!

Great insights to get cut-through for your business include:

  • deliver content ‘on purpose’, don’t just throw content out there for the sake of it
  • good grammar is sexy
  • be human with content – consider the audience, be respectful, listen and be educational not just entertaining
  • bring credibility – smart is cool again
  • traffic is not the audience
  • and my favourite … Don’t create content, create a connection. Love it!

In the process I also discovered Broadsheet:  … Thank you, Nick Shelton)

This has all helped to energise me and as a next step I’m coming your way for your insights and stories on change in my quest for compelling and cut-through content.