There have been countless studies about how our ability to come up with creative ideas changes as we grow older. Many argue that we’re at our most creative when we’re kids, and we don’t know enough about the world and societal norms to box ourselves in.
For a group of people who are in the business of being creative, this is a depressing – and frankly alarming – thought. It was also the impetus for a pretty amazing trip we recently took.
We decided to GO BIG and re-awaken the creativity in all of us. To seek inspiration in others. To remind ourselves that sometimes it’s best to just get out of our own way. In short – we were looking for some serious inspiration and excitement.
With that lofty goal in mind, we told all 21 MindFire Arsonists to pack their bags and meet at the airport … and flew them to Minneapolis for a three-day Inspiration Expedition.
Amazing things happened. That’s what!
For many of us the trip became more than just an opportunity to think about creativity and branding in a new city with our colleagues. It gave us all a chance to slow down and think about how we can become more creative in our work lives AND in our personal lives.
We sought out creators of content all across Minneapolis to better understand what attracts us, what doesn’t, what engages us and what connects with our emotions.
We started by strolling the halls of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, whose collection includes art from six continents, spanning about 5,000 years. We found inspiration in all corners of the building – from the paintings to the sculptures to the architecture.
We got a serious case of the giggles at the Acme Comedy Co. listening to Erica Rhodes and Andy Kindler, a frequent guest and correspondent for "The Late Show with David Letterman." Stand-up comedy takes guts and watching someone put themselves out there reminded us all that creativity requires risk.
We listened intently as author Sam Harrison shared his insights about how to inspire creativity in our day-to-day lives. Sam’s presentation was based on his book Idea Spotting – How to Find Your Next Great Idea. The morning involved building paper airplanes, dancing and pitching cheese graters!
We subsequently put that “idea spotting” to the test and ESCAPED….from the Escape Room! This was a true testament to the adage “teamwork makes the dream work” … and let’s just say that some Arsonists were better at escaping than others!
We took in the amazing singing and dancing of the cast of West Side Story at the Guthrie Theater. How can you not be inspired by one of the greatest love stories ever told, with songs like “Maria,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”
Finally – and most importantly – we spent time together. We ate amazing food. Drank (plenty of) amazing drinks. And we learned things about the people we work with every single day that we didn’t know before.
Too much for one blog post … that’s for sure. We’re all still digesting the trip and how we can take the lessons we’ve learned and apply them in our personal and professional lives. But some things are certain:
What it comes down to is this – when we get together and talk about what makes us excited and what inspires us, we energize each other in a way that makes all of us more creative. And after a trip like this, that energy will turn into a fire – one that will heat up our client work, ignite our imagination and burn brighter than ever before.