All You Need to Know About Being Creative

Forget Consistency, Long Live Consistency: How your creative mind balances contradictory impulses to deliver #StandApart results. Labels are funny. Sometime they put us in boxes we’d rather not find ourselves in (he’s a doer not a thinker), but sometimes, they can be really freeing. For me, “creative” falls into that latter category. I LIKE being creative. This post from Matthew Schuler tells why. Based on 30-years of research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s and his book, Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, Schuler lists the nine apparently contradictory traits explaining why creative types often make no sense. Schuler writes: “As someone paid to be creative, I sometimes feel kaleidoscopic in my views or opinions, and that “multitude” of expressions sometimes confuses those around me. Why does that happen? My thoughts make cohesive sense to me, yet others sometimes feel that I am contradicting myself or switching positions. What is wrong with me?” The short answer: nothing. In fact, Milhay’s research shows that creative-types, like Schuler, embody traits that can’t be learned (soft skills) and, in most cases, rank very desirable when it comes to the workplace. As it turns out, the same traits that make creatives seem flakey, ungrounded and sometimes, just plain ‘out there,’ also make them unstoppable, passionate, committed and innovative. Why? Because creatives rely heavily on that too-often overlooked professional muscle: gut. So, how does being part of the creative class make you #StandApart? 1.    You’re never one-sided It might seem like a 180-degree shift in viewpoint, but that’s because you have the ability to quickly synthesize lots of information – and never get stymied in any one. Instead, Milhay says that being creative means you show: “fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality...

The Anti Networking Event Nov20

The Anti Networking Event

The whole purpose of networking (meeting new people, expanding your horizons, creating opportunity) is made 100% better when like-minded individuals get together to share ideas, discuss ideas and even generate new ideas. The anti-networking event delivers just that. If you’re feeling a little ho-hum about the standard networking scene, why not try one of these career inspiring, creativity fuelled and good-energy magnetizing events right here in Vancouver? Benefits of the Anti-Networking Event: –       Instant material: no wondering what to talk about (anti-networking events bring people together for a defined learning purpose). –       Practice engaging with and participating in idea exchange/creation (a skill you can bring back to the office) –       Meet amazing people who will inspire you (and actually get to interact with them) Here’s our top anti-networking events in (or coming to) Vancouver for 2014:   PetchaKucha Night PechaKucha is the bottom-up answer to the top-down TED approach. Speakers of all stripes and sizes follow the same, simple 20×20 formula: 20 images shown for 20 seconds each, all set on an automatic slide advance. That way, presenters know: there’s no turning back, no lengthy thought-detours, just the chance to talk along to their images – and make every second count. Note: If you want to catch the last PechaKucha of the year in Vancouver, you’ll have to ask fast: it’s tonight. At only $15 per ticket, you get to hear from 10 outstanding speakers. But if you miss it, worry not. PechaKucha will be back in 2014. http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/vancouver   Le Bon Mot Book Club You’ll have to find an “in” for this invite only book club-on-steroids, but if you get past that hurdle you’re bound to have one unforgettable night. Started by Leah Costello of West Vancouver, Le Bon Mot book Club brings mega-authors (i.e. Freakonomics author, Steve Levitt)...

We’re Lovin It: Big Mac inspired Office Trick

Whatever your feelings about those notorious golden arches, I think we can all agree to agree that the consumption of McDonalds has no place in either movie theatres or the office. I’ll leave the ‘gray’ areas up to your discretion: post-Roxy recovery, milkshake cure-all, toddler happy-maker. I cannot judge. But as for the office, it remains some kind of unspoken no-fly/no-fry zone. That’s why, when I first about the McDonald’s Theory via Medium, I thought to myself: Brilliant! I’m going to use it. When can I use it? Then, I suggested to my fellow Smart Savvy-ers that we consider holding our next staff meeting over lunch (so I could use it). The genius of the McDonald’s theory is this: people suddenly become highly motivated to contribute solid, action-worthy ideas when they’re faced with less than ideal options. Here’s how it works: If you find yourself in a blank-stare contest when trying to decide, with coworkers, where to go or order-in for lunch, try recommending McDonald’s. And see what happens. Better yet, read this first hand account. When the author uses the McD’s experiment at work, he says: “an interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic! It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative.” So, how can you begin using the McDonald’s theory to jumpstart your creativity and increase productivity at work today? Here’s 2 ideas on why you might be “lovin it” like we are: 1. Cure the Group Silent Treatment: That brainstorming session you planned was full of great intention until you heard it, the deafening silence coming from the floor.  Have the courage to grab a pen and...