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Let’s Play!

Don't just sit there! You need to play as much as this guy.

Don't just sit there! You need to play as much as this guy.

I was reading Chris Brogan’s newsletter from December 15, again this morning, as I sat suffering from a small case of blog-writer’s block. If you don’t subscribe to his newsletter, you must do so immediately. It’s always a wealth of information, and Chris has such a transparent way of writing. He’s really generous in sharing the strategies he uses in his own busines. But I digress…

Chris was talking about playing games. He asked why, as adults, we don’t do so more often. Good question! Creativity and playing games help us engage in open possibilities. As adults we tend to forget how playing games helps us to understand the world.

Think about Christmas morning: Why do most young children like to play with the box more than the present inside? Because it allows them to use their imaginations. There aren’t any rules or boundaries; they just think possibility. As adults in business, we could stand a little childhood regression.

It just so happens that sitting on my desk is a great book that I love to pull out when I’m in need of possibility. It’s called Thinker Toys: A handbook of creative thinking techniques, and it’s written by Michael Michalko. Thinker Toys is really a big book of games for grown-ups.

Combining individual, and group, brainstorming techniques, Michalko helps the reader to open their mind up to inspiration from many directions. It’s stretching and motivating, and really fun. If you, like Chris, recognize that games are good for business, you should add a copy to your Christmas wishlist.

Then, take a look at our Facebook Fan Page for some creative thinking ideas to bring out your inner child.

How do you get creative in the workplace? Any tips or techniques?

Eureka! 10 Things That Are Inspiring Us Today

Ok, ok, I know the ‘Top 10’ list concept has been overdone. But sometimes it’s interesting to know what’s inspiring other people to do what they do. That’s why I’ve complied a ‘Top 10’ of sorts.

Here’s what I’m  loving today at Engine:

  1. United Way of Quinte’s 2009 Campaign Lauch – I love our community! I don’t think I can say it enough. To see so many people come out to support the United Way’s launch at the Quinte Mall this morning was inspiring. Despite hard economic times, the Quinte region has pulled together and overcome what many others haven’t. Why? Because we act when others just talk.
  2. j0434124Nature – We have had the most beautiful week, weather-wise, here in Belleville that we have experienced all summer. (Fall, you get my vote on favourite season. Summer, disappointing show this year.)  The world is an amazing place, and nature has inspired designers, writers, and artists since time began. The National Geographic website is an ode to all that is planet earth.
  3. Gorgeous Enterprises – Gorgeous is a London-based production company that specialises in high end, creative projects. I posted a link on our Facebook Fan Page a couple days ago, but I can’t get enough. These guys do advertising right.
  4. Shakespeare – Yes, the bard is bringing back my love of all things wordplay and innuendo (I’m reading Much Ado About Nothing). If you need to shake-up (pun intended) your brainstorming sessions, try solving problems with iambic pentameter. Now that’s a creative challenge!
  5. u21jpgU2No Line on the Horizon is magnificent. I said it. These guys prove that you can reinvent yourself over and over as long as you stick to your values. Do you remember Pop, their one misstep in 33 years? Ya, me either. They’re that good. (I’m seeing them live on the 16th, just sayin’.)
  6. The New Yorker – Insightful commentary laced with humour and satire. What could be better? This is for moments when you want to feel urbane without having to try too hard.
  7. The Yellow Bird Project – Indie rock musicians create t-shirts with the proceeds going to charity. Awesome. And I have to say, I love the website design.
  8. Toronto International Film Festival – Spotlight on Canada! TIFF is one of the most highly anticipated film festivals in the world, and with good reason. The premiere I wish I was going to? Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air starring George Clooney.
  9. free-chris-anderson-ebookFree: The Future of a Radical Price Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine, makes the argument that in the digital age, the whole economy is shifting to an era where ‘free’ is the new price. Yikes! Sound daunting? This book has taken my thinking to new levels in terms of creative business solutions. Love it!
  10. Social Media Campaigns that Work – What does Imogen Heap have in common with a squirrel? More than you’d expect. Two very different SM marketing campaigns that have taken off, and produced results.

What’s inspring YOU today?