For most of my career I have worked at the intersection of marketing, branding, strategy, and business planning in high tech and health care. I’ve worked in successful for-profit organizations including Ziff Davis Publishing, Microsoft Corporation, EMC and most recently in the not-for-profit arena at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a flourishing organization dedicated to reducing preventable deaths and improving health care quality around the world.
Through this work I’ve become convinced that meeting the business and societal challenges of the present demands increased investment in three core areas: creativity, connection, and space.
In their book Creative Confidence, IDEO founders Tom and David Kelley define creative confidence as belief “in your ability to create change in the world around you. It is the conviction that you can achieve what you set out to do” and they go on to say “…this belief in your creative capacity, lies at the heart of innovation.”
We may not all be “artists” but everyone is creative. Watch any baby as they strive to problem-solve and you can see their creative wheels spinning - observing, examining, testing, refining, with full confidence that they can achieve the desired outcome. The result is an astonishing attainment of skills and knowledge acquired at lightening speed.
Somewhere along the line, many of us get disconnected from that early confidence that enables creativity and innovation to flourish. At work this can result in an over-reliance on tactics, operations, and analytics at the expense of imagination, innovation, and the confidence to take risks. On a personal level, a sense of creativity is key to adaptability and resilience – two core attributes influencing both success in life and personal well-being.
The good news is, restoring creative confidence is a pretty easy thing to do and the payoffs for individuals, teams, and communities can be immediate.
Working in the not-for-profit world I had ample opportunity to experience the power of creativity and connection to solve seemingly intractable problems. Not just connection among like-minded individuals but across diverse groups. It’s our hope that the Studio can serve as a hub for new connections forged around a common interest in creativity and art. And that these connections will play a role in boosting the creative confidence of all who take part.
In the hectic pace of busy lives, we often need to be deliberate in making space for creativity. Space in our day-to-day lives, mental space, space in our work schedules, and sometimes even physical space that is purpose built to offer a palette suitable for all kinds of creative endeavors. We’ve designed the creative space to offer that kind of flexible palette with a giant idea wall, multi-purpose art tables, windows that allow for natural light and bring the outside, in, and an open and inviting format. We’re excited to see how the space evolves with the input and participation of the community.
Studio on the Common is the realization of a long-held dream supported by many in our community as well as family and friends. It’s been gratifying to have so many come in and express interest in the classes, a feeling of warmth and welcome as they walk in the door, and a sincere appreciation that we are trying something new and innovative on our beautiful common. We look forward to your feedback, ideas, suggestions, and participation. It’s great to be in town!