Creativity in Collaboration

A few weeks ago I was writing about creativity in the context of a getting asked questions at work. I tend to sketch out projects or concepts to bring ideas together. There’s also a black whiteboard behind my desk in my home office with a bunch of bright doodles on it. As a result, these often set first impressions when I start working with someone for the first time. None of this is really high quality artwork, but it’s often engaging and can be fun to use to discuss ideas over. As I noted in that last blog, if you’re asking someone about what they do, you’re probably ready to start trying something out yourself.
Behold: The Boozemoji. Cheers.
Behold: The Boozemoji. Cheers.

That was the case recently when I did a web conference with a colleague I’ve worked on and off with over the last year. She saw some olives climbing a martini glass on the board and I mentioned that my son and I actually made an Apple Messenger sticker app called Boozemoji. While she thought it was really cool and the drawings don’t really have that much technical skill involved, she still had a hard time seeing herself doodling.  I introduced her to Dave Gray’s Squiggle Birds video which I’m pasting below. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Draw a squiggle, put legs and a beak on, and POOF! A bird. Sure enough, the next time we talked, she said that she was drawing little birds all over her notes during calls. Then I told her she could make squiggle elephants. Mind-blowing if you think about it. Really, it’s a gateway to starting one place and expanding.


Around this time, I also was preparing for another presentation with two other coworkers who are on the same team. After calls, one of them started sending haiku about what we were doing. While I’m not that much of a poetry writer, she could knock out a haiku quickly and got the others of us started doing it ourselves. She even put up an internal page called Cloud Poets’ Society. It was a fun departure and gave us something to laugh about plus helped us remember what we’d worked on.

These might seem a bit trite, these are all great ways to build bridges with other people and find common ground. It was really special for me to be going through some past notes about a business I’m selling to and find sketchnotes from a past meeting. Not only did it do a wonderful job of capturing the key points, I even recognized the iPad app used to create it. It’s one I use extensively and had actually used to collaborate with the guy who’d made the notes. Each time you share a bit of yourself and your thought process, you make tighter bonds and get better at conveying your ideas. And each time you try something new, you push your own boundaries a bit more while learning from those around you. I’ll get into why this is important in sales in a future post. Meanwhile, recognize that taking small risks really can build skills and can change your reality.

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