Colouring the Streets

info Loaded Brush - Saturday, February 09, 2013
With a desire for change this courageous leader says no to the Grey of compromise and colours his city with amazing results. Our Environment must support our innovation and creativity and is a great place to begin making change.  Beauty protects, nourishes and renews.  A change in space can promote dialogue, collaboration and growth.  
We are fortunate to have a city of many colours, but we should continue to find ways to paint the town red for ourselves.  
What is your favourite Colourful Perth Space?
Which building would you like to see recoloured?

The Best Art

info Loaded Brush - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

As a young traveler I once decided that I might sing for my supper, well actually, clean a hostel for a free night’s board.  I lasted about two days before I reverted to paying cash.  The manager smiled and said, ‘Cleaning toilets is a good way to find out what you don’t want to do.’  So how do we find out what we want to do?

Andy Warhol once famously said;
Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”  Warhol was a conceptual artist, his ‘work’ and business was in the play with ideas.  Much of the production was undertaken by his minions at his studio ‘The Factory.’   The ‘art’ therefore, is the process of thinking, the creation of ideas.  In this sense, good business is having the best ideas and implementing them successfully.   

I am currently training a Small Business Course for Mission Australia.  As participants near the end of the course they face the reality of starting their own business and begin to express some fears and doubts.  This conversation is always the most exciting for me, because it is in this space of the unknown that we discover the true reward of business, personal growth.  Fears about time management, sales skills or any number of practical concerns highlight opportunities for learning and creativity.  Like a blank canvas, a business offers no place to hide, but infinite choice and an ability to be your most authentic self, to decide exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it.  And just like a canvas, you can always paint over whatever isn't working, get help, or start fresh with a new canvas!  Good business, 'art,' is a process of creating, innovating, refining and reinventing ourselves, our staff, our product and our systems.  To be the best we must understand, practice and manage the process of creativity and innovation.

Now of course, the toilet will still need cleaning, but you decide how, how often and by who!



Tears, Fears and delicious Doubts!

info Loaded Brush - Thursday, July 21, 2011


I am having a vulnerable week. 
There have been tears, fears and yes, doubts a plenty.  In Jamming terms I have been staring at a half finished canvas and it is messy, embarrassing, unresolved, ugly even. 

This is generally the point in a Jam where people will once again turn to me for advice.  I try to ease the struggle and occasionally offer a friendly opinion, but always resist ‘teaching’ or telling Jammers what to do, because of course there is no ‘right way’ and it is simply not my decision to make.  It is also, like the first moment of facing the blank canvas, an opportunity with great potential for empowerment. 

In her TED talk The Power of Vulnerability, Brene Brown shares the story of her journey into Vulnerability.  She speaks about the discomfort of learning, having a “willingness to do something where there are no guarantees.”  Her message is that we are born courageous creatures “wired for struggle” and our efforts to avoid or reduce the discomfort associated with this risk merely serve to dull the shine on our glorious imperfect lives and loves.


Having a willingness to share what is messy, embarrassing or unresolved is opening a door to learning, because learning is an exchange, a dialogue.  We must be prepared to say to ourselves or to another ‘I don’t know,’ ‘I am afraid,’ ‘how can?’ ‘I wonder’ and then to boldly step into that space of discovery. 


Yes, it was a messy week.  I had my moment of tears, fears and doubts and I am so pleased!  Excited and thrilled to be playing in a space of new learning!  And grateful to those who have shared and supported me.


At the end of every Jam I thank participants for Sharing their Creativity.  This is not merely ‘thanks for your business,’ but an expression of truly genuine gratitude for giving of themselves, sharing a moment of their beautiful vulnerability.  What a special gift!

What De Bono doesn't tell you!

info Loaded Brush - Sunday, May 01, 2011

So you have put on a red hat and a yellow one, invested in some postits and colourful markers, generated some ‘random words’ and brainstormed more than a dozen uses for an umbrella.
  You’ve tried to get ‘out-of-the-box’ and ‘off-the-wall’ but somehow you are just a bit stuck.  I mean you don’t even own an umbrella, what difference does it make how other people choose to use them?


De Bono has done a great deal to encourage an understanding of creativity as a skill and process.  One, which we all participate in, and can practice and improve.  However De Bono only gives us half the recipe.  Typical of a science trained doctor, his approach is one of follow the instructions step by step, voila, Creativity!


Any amateur chef will tell you following the recipe does not always result in the cookbook picture! And of course that is ok, if you are happy with the taste, but De Bono’s tools for too long have left a bad taste, or sadly no taste at all!


Mastering any skill, from climbing to kissing involves some technical aspects, the method or instructions.  However there are elements one can only learn from experience, the language unique to that skill.  Rock climbers learn to read the rock, as well as the weather and perhaps the body language of the climbers they rely upon.  Chefs learn the language of food, the smell of a ripe tomato, the texture of a certain sauce.  These sensibilities are developed over time and practice.  So what then is the language of Creativity?


The great news is that the language of Creativity is all languages, your language, the Hundreds of Languages.

Every experience you have builds your repertoire of what IDEO’s Jane Fulton Suri calls ‘Design Sensibilities.’  Elements of rhythm, gesture, texture, light, humour and perspective to name just a few.  These subtle intuitive components are drawn upon personally and professionally and building our awareness of them increases our ability to make thoughtful, powerful and creative decisions.

Suri writes “develop the design sensibilities of your employees as a business asset with two important benefits: more refined intuitions about the needs and desires of your customers and greater confidence in making intuitive judgments to resolve complex problems with well-rounded solutions.”


So how do I develop design sensibilities? Come and talk to us, it is what we do.