The War On Imagination

Yesterday I heard Welby Altidor talk about his new book Creative Courage at The Art of Leadership conference in Vancouver.

Much of this blog is really that investigation, how to move out into the world (courage) and do good work (as a creative).

He spoke about a sobering, malignant eddy that wafts amongst us all, every day: the war on imagination. It begins in school; as parents we tend to direct traffic away from dreaming to the practical and mundane; in the workplace it is positively frowned upon.

It got me to thinking about my mantra, Be F.R.E.S.H. The work – the content – should be Fun, Revealing, Entertaining, Shareable&Social, Heartfelt.

And the approach – the process – should be F.R.E.S.H. too. Work should fire up our (collective) imagination.

But perversely, the more enjoyment and bonhomie our work exhibits, the more those around us question its value (“it must be fluff”) and, connectedly, the value and meaning of those who produce it are discounted too.

Meanwhile, the more sombre and prescriptive the demeanour and output, the more “professional” and valuable it gets described.

How to defend oneself against the onslaught? How to hold the line? Curiosity is the killer app, the deflection-protection super power.

With a healthy imagination and a curious mind; with the blinkers on and a gritted jaw; we can do anything, go anywhere.

Amazing work done amazingly, Altidor offers. Yes to that.

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Yeah, I'll have some of that pls #TheArtOf

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