Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Innovation Institute

Yesterday, I was the participating artist in a corporate curriculum at the Innovation Institute sponsored by McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, N. Carolina. The course, created by McColl's director, Suzanne Fetscher, was designed to bring corporate personnel and artists together. Led by artists and aided by a professional executive coach and consultant in organizational development, the students are immersed in a curriculum full of challenging hands-on and experiential creative exercises that attempts to reinvigorate their creative core.

In their words: "From childhood through adulthood, our educational system reduces the emphasis on maintaining creative abilities and focuses, instead, on developing our analytical abilities. The workplace reinforces this thinking and, over time, the value of creativity in the workplace has diminished. The Innovation Institute’s mission is to help you reconnect to your creative side and use it to change the way you live. Experience creative challenges, explore the boundaries of your imagination and, most importantly, develop the ability to clearly recognize, influence, and support creativity in others, and apply these new abilities to your personal and professional lives."

I start of the first session - Unlocking The Creative Voice - and tell them about my creative journey. Afterwards, we have two creative sessions where they get to explore and exploit the source of their creativity. Every other week for the next ten weeks, they will encounter another artist that builds upon my beginning salvo. The ultimate goal is to get them to the point that they recognize their own innate (often forgotten or under utilized) creative abilities. They can then begin to apply the lessons learned in the workplace and inspire themselves and other to take chances and be more innovative in their thinking and approach to work. I've been a part of this course for the past four years and am always amazed at how much I take away from those whom I am supposed to teach. It's a great course and I urge anyone who feels as though they are creatively stagnating in the workplace to contact Barbara Spradling at; / 704-332-5535 ext. 23 to get more information about the innovation Institute. You can read more about the Innovation Institute at: It will literally change your life.

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