home #SXSW Bloodsuckers, human spam and collective genius

Bloodsuckers, human spam and collective genius

Meet Austin Kleon, who describes himself as “I am a writer who draws. I make art with words and books with pictures.” Kleon wrote bestselling books like ¨Show Your Work¨ and ¨Steal Like an Artist¨. He has a mind rattling creative view on content, media, business and creativity.

Kleon is clearly a bit fed up with today’s culture of mindlessly chasing the next profit, or the next big thing. “We should focus on stuff that lasts, that moves businesses and society on the middle or long term. Not on something that needs to get the highest profit short term. “

Scenius: the collective genius. Austin Kleon does not believe in the mantra that it takes a genius to change the world. For him, the solitary cowboy genius homegrown on misery and the-set-backs-of life is a myth. You do not have to have a spinning brain, and have lived under a bridge to make a difference or be creative. He advocates scenius, a tribe form of genius. Put creative thinkers together, and magic will happen. Good ideas grow in the fertile field of a team. The power of many beats the solitary spark.  

Beware of Energy Vampires: they are killing the creativity of the team, and sucking the power out of individuals. People draining the energy out of you and leaving you empty and exhausted should be banned from interacting with you and your team.

Human Spam: the people that talk about them, but do not listen to you. They do not contribute, they do not sympathize, and they have no empathy. They carpet bomb your attention span. Find people that listen, and contribute.

Don’t be a squirrel: When you find gems, diamonds, great stuff, and fab findings: share it with others. Others need it to spark their ideas, and make it bigger. Sharing wood makes the greatest fire.

Give to Caesar what is due:  Kleon advocates to give credit where due. In a collaborative mindset, acknowledging contribution is vital: what it is, who made it, when, why it is important, how did you found it… Without credit, without attribution, sharing is utterly meaningless. It’s stealing.

Get naked: Find people to work with that lower their shields, are transparent, and have nothing to hide. Only people that not see you as competition will be open enough to fully contribute. Is the organization mature enough to carry creative change to success?

Stick to your guns, stand your ground: innovation, creativity, finding the right strategy, forging the great idea is not easy, and it does take time. Change is work. Succeeding draws resources and energy. Allow for enough time and commitment to make it happen.

The question I take away from Austin Kleon’s talk: Do we dare what is needed? Do we do what it takes? Are we open to change? Are we brave enough to quit our comfort zone?

If success is creativity, we need to dive into the deep.

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