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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Save Someone's Bacon

Save someone's bacon - To prevent an undesirable occurrence. 

I don't know about you, but recently it seems like the world has gone topsy turvy on me.  Normally confident in facilitation and speaking, last week I found myself shaking with fright in front of a group. What?! I'd lost my voice, I had that weird dry mouth where you can't get enough saliva to keep talking correctly. :-) It was a mortifying experience.

Well, how did I handle it?  I did what I thought I needed to, I confessed. I told participants afterwards, "I don't know what happened to me, but I was so nervous, it was terrible."  They went out of their way to reassure me, but trust me, I'm a professional, I know when what I did wasn't as good as it could have been.

Humbled, I looked for the lesson. What the heck happened?
At first I started looking around me for whose fault this was. LOL. Oh that always works well.  ;-)

Then it hit me. I really hadn't been into this experience from the start. In fact, I found myself complaining, dreading the delivery, mad at the client - for what?! Just being alive? For paying me? Oh, (doh) woe is me!   Subsequently I resisted preparation, I crammed at the last minute, I refused to thoroughly review the materials that I was not personally presenting, so I had no idea what state they were in. I put a lot of pressure on my co-facilitator that was really unwarranted. Had I reviewed her materials thoroughly, I would have known that they were too high level for our audience.

I had the perfect opportunity to save someone's bacon. Hers and mine. Whoops! I missed it. (sigh)

The great thing about life is that when you think you have something down, figured out, you're on top of the world...it brings you another experience to level the playing field once again. What a great gift - humble pie - (actually since I stopped eating sugar, any pie tastes sweet) thanks universe!

You could save someone's bacon right now. Look around at the projects you are working on. Ask yourself, "Am I taking full responsibility here?" Sometimes our ego makes up a story about what's their part and whats your part, when you are collaborating. The truth is, the buck always stops right here at your doorstep, with you.

Life will give you multiple chances to take your game to the next level. When you say yes to a project or client, a new collaborator, a change in something you are doing, be ready (and willing) to accept the additional level of responsibility that's required. You can wait and wait and try to sidestep your way out of it, but the truth is, it all comes down to you.

You are one who has the ability to save your own bacon. Go do the right thing. You owe it to yourself, (your clients) and your growth.

Do good, be good, & kick ass.
(Thanks to Gallagher Design for this awesome slogan and graphic.)

 
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Graphic Recording Class December 12

Join us in Portland for a super fun day learning visual thinking and graphic recording skills. Email us to make sure you're guaranteed a spot!

Genius Toolkits

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Independent Sector NGen Vision to Reality Breakout

Believe it or not, the Next Generation is more about "us" vs. "me". I loved working with them and you will too. Follow them, watch their greatness and support its emergence - our future depends upon it.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Libraries - A Central Hub for Innovation

Libraries Today

This week I got to see first hand the changes in libraries across the US.  I was working with the Florida Public Library Directors in Tallahassee, running their annual meeting.  Pre-meeting work included reading the Aspen Libraries Report which was a think tank discussing the future of libraries.

The report offers 4 key strategies:
1. Aligning library services in support of community goals. 

2. Providing access to content in all formats.

3. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of public libraries.

4. Cultivating leadership.
The day flew by as the the directors drew their vision into reality, brainstorming how they each could take their library into the future.  While each of them had their own map for their area, I created a compilation of common themes in a map that will live in the State Libraries office.  
Did you know that the library has become a social services office in some areas? That it is filled with people retooling and retraining themselves? That you can check out a book online from your library? (I bet you knew that!) That they are transforming libraries into 'maker spaces' for entrepreneurs, creating video and audio recording studios, and house some of the greatest historical collections of photos, artefacts, and art? If you are stuck in your old way of thinking about the library around the corner from you, go check it out!
 
Libraries are the new hub for innovation, the place to launch your new business venture, or publish your own book. The library is more than stacks of books.  It is essential to our community!  So if funding your library is on the ballot in your town, I urge you to check the box that says YES we will fund ours!

Thank you Florida Public Library Directors!

Graphic Recording/Visual Thinking Class in Portland, OR

Have you wondered how people get started drawing on the whiteboard or capturing meetings in pictures?  This introductory class will help you become the creative genius in the room.  Learn simple drawing tips and techniques to get you started visual thinking & graphic recording! E-mail me here.

 

Genius Toolkits

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Gamestorming DIrectors

Want to make your offsite super powered? Contact us!  We will help you up your creative genius and draw your vision into reality, or show you how to! E-mail mehere for more info.
 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spook Yourself Out

Spook yourself out

Wondering how to grow your business or yourself? Does the very thought seem spooky? It might be easier than you let yourself believe, if you let yourself believe it will be (Try that for a tongue twister!). And don’t decide to believe what you just read, prove it to yourself.
People who set goals are more likely to achieve them. Didn’t we hear that in school? Yes, countless times, but now it's time to turn up the volume and really do it.
When was the last time you asked the universe to show you what goals to work towards? That may sound weird (A little like hocus-pocus!) but in a recent survey 64% of people said they either used their intuition when goal setting, or actively sought answers from the world around them.  
How do you do that? You turn up your ability to notice what is happening around you, meaning the road signs, the radio, the person who you were just thinking about who then called “Out of the blue”. Once you start noticing these things, the coincidences and connections might seem positively spooky!
When we were in New Zealand, we saw a felt-board at the Christchurch botanical gardens and kids were going crazy putting up felt flowers, felt suns, felt landscaping etc. Why not designate a wall to become your own felt-board? Tear out a few pictures of things that call out to you from magazines or ezines and pin them up there, create a snapshot collage in your Instagram account, or look at your Pinterest - what is it telling you that you love? Is your next step right in front of your nose?
Change can seem like a spooky process, but did you know that if you continue to make small changes every day, you increase your flexibility and ability to adapt to large changes? Get busy with those little changes today and before you know it they will add up to become those big changes you've been dreaming of.
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Creativity Symposium Rescheduled

If you were signed up for this awesome event this Saturday, you'll be happy to know we came up with something even better! In honor of International Women's Day and a number of other factors, the organizers have decided to move the party to March 7. 

Imagination Changes Everything

Looking for some change in your life? Draw your way to success!

Genius Toolkits

We are coming out with some awesome toolkits to help you be the creative genius at the offset. To get in on the early-bird special pricing, e-mail us here.
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let Go & Move On!

I walked into another company this month where they’d merged a couple of big companies together, laid a bunch of people off and everyone was SUPER excited at the TOP.  But down below that level, wow, were people pissed off.  Our job was to help them make change using a picture of the future and what we found was what they really needed was a cheering squad, a pep commission, a complete confidence overhaul.
This is how it goes in the drivelatia of corporate America and it will go on and on and on like that until eternity is over. BUT that doesn’t mean you have to let it roll over you, squish the life out of you, pummel your self esteem to pieces. 
When your company merges with another and they are threatening and actually making lay-offs, you can despair if that is your nature, or you can:
1. Be curious about your future, rather than be afraid of what’s coming. 
2. Ask questions when there are no answers until there are answers. 
3. Offer to help with something you like doing. 
4. Refuse to be a lemming and start to swim upstream, support your friends and buy them coffee and donuts to cheer up the team.  
5. Actively look for alternative employment i.e. LET GO.
Which brings me to this blog’s topic. It’s fall and like the big trees all around your neighborhood, it’s a good time to drop your leaves and LET GO of something. Maybe let go of parts of yourself that are bugging you, of bad habits or old beliefs.  
Sound good?  Here’s a few tips on how:
Make a list of things you really want to let go of (draw a few pictures of them too, just to make it a fun versus torturous review of yourself/life/work). 
Choose one habit, behavior, thing to let go of.  Imagine yourself without that thing/habit/behavior.  See it as clearly as if you were in that life without itright now. Draw a sketch of you without it (perhaps a smiley-face you)
Now look back at the road you took to get here. Pretend you have already traveled along that road to this miraculous new you without that thing and what did you do, learn, find, experience along the way?  Write down everything you can think of that you did to help yourself.  Then do one of those things to kick start the new you.
Here’s mine. I’m an illustrator. I have hundreds of pens of all kinds, pencils, pastels, chalks, paper, tape. As I write this I know that when I get home I am going to go through my closets, drawers and keep ONE of each thing I have actively used in the last year and give the rest to the art teacher at the local elementary school.  Divest. AND I’m going to enlist Julie’s help doing it, because I can’t be fully trusted with these kinds of divesting things.  I can give up sugar but hard to give up art supplies.
What will you give up this fall?  What are you clinging to?
Let go. Be brave. Move on. Lighten your load.
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Creativity Symposium Rescheduled

If you were signed up for this awesome event next Saturday, you'll be happy to know we came up with something even better! In honor of International Women's Day and a number of other factors, the organizers have decided to move the party to March 7. 

Imagination Changes Everything

Looking for some change in your life? Draw your way to success!

Use Sleep to clear out your brain

Did you know sleeping allows your brain to  let go? A finding from the National Institutes of Health suggests that one function of sleep is to allow the brain to flush out the toxins that build up during waking hours.
"Sleep basically restores your vitality and your ability to do things," Dr. Saper said. When your nerve cells are active for a long period (such as while you're awake), there's a build up of the chemical adenosine, which can reduce the ability of your nerve cells to fire when they get a new piece of information. When you go to sleep, you convert adenosine back into forms that help your brain work better."
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