Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

The blank canvas.

12 May

Ok, not to get all 12-step on you, but… the first step to solving a problem is admitting it exists.

In business, we often have more problems to solve than time on our hands. Ironically, challenges often begin with choosing which problem to tackle. Here are a few practical Drawing Down the Vision techniques which can help you prioritize and solve problems.

1. Create a blank page in your journal, notepad, sketchbook… and begin to sketch out all the problems you see yourself potentially devoting time to.

By attempting to create a visual representation of the problem you’ll be forced to think of it differently than you would with words. It may be difficult to start, but over time you’ll find your own voice.

Spend a minute or two on this, don’t dwell. Even better… come back with fresh eyes in a few days. Spend micro moments revisiting the problem in different places with different people with different ideas in your head.

At some point… it should seem obvious which problem is best to tackle. If not, keep mulling, or take a leap and move forward on any, you’ll learn through the process.

Blank Canvas, evaluating problems

Bill Gates asked, 'How do we put the best minds on the biggest problems?' I chose to explore what problems I could contribute to.

2. Once you’ve chosen which problem to tackle, find another blank page. Tag it with the problem… mark the header, sketch the problem right in the middle, whatever you think best outlines the solution you need.

This is your blank canvas, your home for exploring solutions to the problem. You may have nothing to include immediately, you may have so much that you need a few pages, but either way…. let this be the place you think out loud about the problem.

As you go through your day, ideas will be triggered by the different people, places, discussions… all sources of inspiration. Fantastic! Rather than losing those potential solutions, grab your sketchpad and put them in, immediately. Drawing Down the Vision is about collecting those fleeting ideas. The more random and unpractical, the better they can support new thinking, ways to re-evaluate a problem and come up with a practical, elegant solution.

Blank Canvas, collecting inspiration

My blank canvas for a project at work. No ripe ideas at the time of the photo. Now we wait.

To solve a problem, you need to be in a different state of mind than when you discovered it… in the words of Albert Einstein: ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.’ Revisiting your idea nest in the future is a great way to rekindle the thoughts, and see if there’s anything worth reapplying. Maybe you’ve discovered a solution you didn’t even know!

Again, these are not rules, just examples! So have fun, and share what you learn with us below.

Popularity: 17% [?]


Promoting diversity of thought.

09 May

Creative Thinking

Amy and I had the great opportunity to meet with Nate Zeisler. He is the co-founder of Arts Enterprise, an organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial and creative thinking through the intersection of art and business.

Nate’s work is closely related to ours here at Drawing Down the Vision. Arts Enterprise is building a university network of dedicated leaders in this burgeoning field promoting diversity of thought: new ways to think through solutions to the complex, multi-faceted problems our world faces.

The time is ripe for this shift in thinking for both the academic and business worlds, applying best practices from all walks of life. Richard Florida, author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class‘, dubs today, ‘The Great Reset‘ (the name of his new book). We’re all challenged to find new and relevant ways to contribute to the ever-changing communities we live in, to make the most of the myriad resources we are presented with. This demands skills native to the traditional artist and entrepreneur, a new way of looking at the world. It demands people who can combine and teach creative and professional success.

If you know of other groups working towards a similar goal, please share below! We all have a lot to learn.

“We are all artists now.” – Dalton Conley, Elsewhere USA
‘The MFA is the new MBA.’ – Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind

Popularity: 35% [?]


Ideas are like mushrooms

30 Apr

Ideas are like mushrooms:

Ever notice how mushrooms crop up in the yard when conditions are just right? Moist, rainy and cool weather seems to do the trick where I live. I like to get outside and draw them when I can.  Under the right conditions, amazing things can happen and the generation of ideas is no exception.

In Betty Edwards’ groundbreaking work Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain she writes, “combining perceptual skills with problem solving evokes an extended shift to an alternate mode of thinking”.  This mode of thinking is the holistic, non-linear creative thought process research has shown to be connected with the right-side, more creative side of the brain.

The act of drawing, even something as simple as a mushroom growing in the garden, is the quick ticket to this creative mode of thought.  Being in a “right-brain” mode of thinking is the condition under which the best ideas come.  If you are noodling a complicated problem at work or in your personal life, give it some thought, then pick up a pen and paper and go draw something seemingly unrelated for a while.  You may be surprised at the mushrooming of ideas that occurs.

Popularity: 16% [?]


A visionary chef’s other tool, the pencil

20 Mar

Andrew Spurgin's Drug Store Mini Retro Burger Sketch - frisee,  roll, sea salt, sesame, kobe beef burger, pickle, plastic presentation  tray, lemon aioli

Andrew Spurgin, Executive Chef at Waters Fine Foods in ever-beautiful San Diego California, sees food his customers want, before they do. His mission is prove it to them.

While it’s not difficult with the final product, typically, he doesn’t have it on hand… or the ingredients and tools to make it right then and there. All he carries is a pencil and an eye for a loose sheet of paper.

As the article, ‘The Power of a pencil,’ in Catering Magazine showcases, Andrew is not shy to use drawing as the non-traditional method to make his foodie visions a reality. He uses sketches to feel out his clients desires, one at a time. He then shares these sketches with his kitchen staff, which ultimately serves to help him deliver the product, one at a time, on a much larger scale than he could himself.

Does this conjure up thoughts of how drawing can connect you, your clients, your team?

“I just found that it’s such a valuable tool, because things turn out the way you envision them and everyone is on the same page,” Spurgin says.

Popularity: 8% [?]


Powered by Olark