Up a Creek: creativity, co-creation and agility

I’ve just re-read ‘Remote‘, Jason and David’s great book about why the office is no longer required. They talk about how remote workers can structure their days around other activities like picking up the kids or walking the dog. This is a thinly veiled excuse for why i bunked off from designing the workshop today to go kayaking instead.

In two weeks time i’m delivering a prototype session on ‘Creativity, co-creation and agility‘, which explores storytelling in learning through music. It’s a work in progress, but fear not: the kayaking inspired me.

We took out a Canadian canoe, where one of you sits in front, the other sits at the back. If you’re good, you both paddle and the person at the back steers. If you’re not so good, you both try to steer, wobble around a bit, shout helpfully at each other and, ultimately, go around in circles. You can’t get anywhere by yourself unless you collaborate. The experience is co-created.

Facets of Co-Creation

Co-Creation is something we do in communities: it’s a core skill of the Social Age

Co-creation is what we do within communities: it sits at the heart of social learning and i’ve included it within the Social Leadership model. It even impacts into the work i’m doing around culture and change, where co-created and co-owned models have greater authenticity and momentum.

It’s about finding and building upon the shared purpose that unites a community. It’s about pulling together to achieve common purpose. Activities within co-creative spaces should be given permission to be free thinking: it’s about unrestrained curiosity. If we start with too many preconceptions, our thinking will be constrained by what we already know.

Communities have a great editing function: they permit us to make mistakes but prune and refine the messages to build upon them.

Co-creativity is about expression, but not just individual expression, it’s expression to the power of many, expression shared, cubed and multiplied and, as such, it should be both liberating and inclusive.

And we should be both ambitious of broad thinking and permissive of risk taking and adventure. If you see a corner coming up, you should always paddle around it, or you’ll forever be wondering what was hidden round there.

I’m in two minds about the workshop: “creativity, co-creation and agility” are core skills for the Social Age, but i’m not confident of my ability to get the workshop right first time. Which is precisely why i need to run the prototype: to co-create a strong story with input and feedback from the community. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never start paddling.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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19 Responses to Up a Creek: creativity, co-creation and agility

  1. ksfinblog says:

    I recently read an article that the companies want to enforce office culture on their employees…….. flexible hours won’t do that…..in other words the need to lord it over is bigger than the need to earn…

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