It's OK to be an Artist

Great pod- and vidcast by Tom Kelley of IDEO at Stanford! (Thanks for link @frogpond.) The title of his talk is "How to 42-19652961be an innovator for live?" He give five practical (but hard) tips to tap into the innovator in you. Yes, the innovator, the artist, is in you, Tom says. He shares an interesting anecdote about an artist who went through the classes of an elementary school asking all classes the same question. The question was: 'Who's an artist here?' As you understand in kindergarten everyone was, in 6th grade almost nobody dared to say they were. And if they did, they would look around to see what their friends thought about it.

Tom encourages all of use to stay childlike (not childish). 'It's OK to be an artist!' Don't accept the common saying 'Deja vu', but say 'Vu ja de' ('Deja vu' backward...), as they say at IDEO.

I love these talks. They inspire me to the max. Maybe because in the adult world we see so little 'Vu ja de'. On the other hand knowledge management (KM) professionals usually do have a 'big hairy audacious goal', think in ideals and want to change the world/company. That's what I find so inspirational from reading blogs and discussions in the KM area. Their ideas and thoughts are creative, build on other's ideas, thinking hard about ways to improve knowledge sharing and are not afraid to try approaches and tools, and even fail and share failures to learn from them.

Let's keep up this attitude and if we loose our childlike behaviour, kindly correct each other back into the right mode!


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It's OK to be an Artist

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  2. Thanks for this note. Knowledge management sounds like a huge topic! Would love to hear more of your thoughts on how to encourage people to free up their creativity.

    Kind of a different angle, but I just wrote this blog post, You know you're an artist when...

    Totally spot-on about the way kids' thinking changes by the time they're in 6th grade. Thanks for the post!


  3. Great article Samuel. If we did bring more 'childlike' behaviour into our professional lives, we'd see more honesty, transparency and trust emerge. I sometimes wonder if there is an inverse relationship between trust and experience, i.e. the more experience we gain, the less we trust. Children - on the whole - are very trusting. Let's learn from them!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Steve. Interesting thought. Yes, kids are trusting. I think you're right. With more experience, we trust less. One thing I was wondering is: does the same hold for experience and honesty. Kids are very honest. When they don't like something or someone they will say so. Doesn't experience make us less honest. We become more political and tactical. Because "it's rude to say everything you think." I think we can learn from kids here as well.


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