May 16 2009

collaboration

I’m still sorting out my thoughts on this. Collaboration is hard. But it seems that people love to talk about it. I’m also thinking about this great post on author Bob Sutton’s, “sir we don’t actually do what we propose we just propose it.”

Ground Hog Day the movie, have you seen it? This is the best way I can think to describe the dialogue and conversation about the topic of creative industry in Portland. Each conversation starts at the same spot and get’s one word further each year. This is at least year 9.

Why are we still JUST talking about creative industry in Portland? Agendas? Strategy? Value proposition? Egos? Mixed messages? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!

If done right, creativity can be very glamorous. So the fascination is so compelling you could charge admission. But who really has been successful with creative? Think about it. I’m not going to say.

I don’t say mainly because it would be my opinion and my perception of the product.

Part of the problem, I think, is that the creative process never stops. So you are never really done. So how can you put it into a functioning, organized organization or association? And how can you let one person manage that? What is their agenda?

In the last two weeks I’ve been to two separate events, in the creative space, topic being communication and collaboration.

The most interesting thing for me was the Oregon Arts Summit, the Art of Collaboration. There were about 300 people there. I knew 5 people. Which seems odd to me, only because I’ve been involved in the arts and creative industry in Portland for more than 10 years. Who was this audience?

What was very clear to me is that people communicate an idea of collaboration but no one really knows how to implement it. They let their fears or take over. Or they don’t think outside of their immediate reach. They limit their resources. Or let the lack of resources dictate what is possible. Maybe if there were a LinkedIn for interests and causes. Then you could actually see your true network of resources to enrich your program, organization or company. They seem so stifled by what they don’t have, the big gap of what ever it is that makes them a real success that they can’t see past it. They can’t see past, we don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough time…we don’t, we don’t, we don’t. I’m reminded of my “I think I can” talk with my little friend Sophia.

I’m sure I will come back to this topic again.