The Three Things Vogue’s 15 Coolest Neighbourhoods Can Teach Us About Creativity

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Vogue released its list of the world’s 15 coolest hoods – proudly, Toronto’s West Queen West is on there – and each area seems to have many things in common with the next: cafés, trendy bars, galleries, and a general artsy nature. Bustling districts like financial hubs or laid back suburban blocks do not make the cut. Why? Because it’s all about creativity. Freedom of expression, individuality, uniqueness and a rebellion against the mundane are all commonalities. By allowing creativity to dominate, once-misfit or forgotten pockets are earning their stripes. And it’s a lesson we all should learn.

Creativity isn’t always original. Fifteen global neighbourhoods that do not share a common postal code, let alone 1,000km radius, overlap with so many traits. Why? Expression is about originality, but the art of that expression is not rare at all. The risk-takers share a common drive with other risk-takers – to be a risk-taker. Creativity is more about taking risks. Don’t worry much about what others are doing, too.

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The One Crucial Practice To Thought Leadership Your Organization Can No Longer Ignore

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Successful organizations are teeming with talent; those whose perspectives and individualities are the reasons why there were hired in the first place. However, organizations are not devoting enough effort or attention to giving their employees the platform to express their thought leadership to the public and, in turn, the chance to even more positively reflect your business’s brand.

The Follow Through is a crucial piece to sustaining thought leadership in your organization. Allowing and encouraging your talented staff to reflect on their opinions or discuss recent experiences (at conferences, in boardrooms, at the water cooler) that have happened to them in business increases your platform of expertise. Not to mention highlighting the brilliant minds themselves and their introspection on news and trends.

Did you send Alice to a summit on technology and innovation? Habit-forming follow through behaviours such as producing an article or video blog post-experience are important to foster in your employees whose experiences yield thought provoking responses. And you’ll have proprietary useful content to share with your stakeholders.

Follow through by setting up a 360 degree practice that allows your talented staff to create their own retrospective pieces following any type of experience related to your business and sustain a successful thought leadership practice in your organization.

Where does awesome Community Management come from?

I wrote this over a year ago but still find it relevant to Community Managers everywhere!

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rollercoster-coverI overheard my sister talking to our friend Jules about a Facebook post she’d just read.  She began reading it aloud, pausing at certain points and then completing the post, then following it with a ‘wow, isn’t that cool?’

I called from the kitchen of my apartment over to them in the next room.

‘Kate,’ I said, ‘do you know who wrote that?’

She didn’t answer.  I continued.

‘I mean, who wrote that, seriously.  Do you think I wrote it?’

She replied, slightly confused and taken aback.

‘I wrote that.  I manage that community on Facebook.’ Is all I said.

A Community Manager hopes for many things (likes, shares, comments, followers, retweets etc.) but none of that is as coveted after as creating a real story offline.  None of those other things are REAL.

Someone actually talking about something they read online, sharing the story verbally with a friend or…

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App Truths from a Smartphone Addict

womans-hand-smart-phoneAccording to a new Google study, Canadians are very addicted to their smartphones and I am one of those people.  We take our phones with us everywhere we go – heck, I even sleep with mine under my pillow (well, I used to, but now I put it at least 2 feet away from my head to help shelter myself from airwaves all night – if this is even a thing.)

What interested me about the study were the tidbits of information about apps.  I find most apps to be overrated, until someone tries to take away my HuffPost widget then I’d freak.  The study says that most people have, on average, about 30 apps on their phone.

I have 49 apps.

People use about 12 on average over the course of a year.

Let’s see… the ones I look at every day are easily: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Text Messaging, TheStar, HuffingtonPost, Email, Camera, Instagram, MapMyRun, CBCRadio, LinkedIn, and the Weather App.  The others are on an as-needed basis.  Does this mean my other 36 apps were there for just a one time use?  Isn’t that what the internet is for?

On average, smartphone users have paid for about 8 of their apps.

For me, I have paid for exactly zero, and am not sure if any of the paid apps out there that I would buy are ones I’d use daily.  

Rearranging the apps on my phone is something that happens rarely and, when it does, I get completely thrown off.  I thought that this might be a good idea for someone to do to ward off Alzheimer’s – like doing a crossword or trying to remember a phrase they read that morning.  Like rearranging clothes in your closets so the hangers point outwards for clothes you rarely wear, I should do this with my apps.

Why does it matter?  I don’t like clutter.  Digital clutter is just as bad as physical.  In fact, it’s worse because it’s not immediately evident that a build up is happening.  The last thing I need, though, is an app that will declutter my other apps.  I can do that myself, with my own app – called my brain.

Ad Lounge’s ‘Art From the Unexpected’ Showcases Exec. Talent for a Cause

1Not even the smell of faintly cooking hops could trump the unexpected art done by 20 marketing and advertising professionals in Art from the Unexpected, hosted by Ad Lounge and TC Media yesterday evening at Steamwhistle brewery in Toronto.

Over 200 ad folks came out to hobnob with each other and the artists who, for some, had never held a paint brush before.  An exception was the CEO of Edelman, John Clinton’s, art, which was  in fact a sculpture, something only to be matched in medium by CEO of Cundari, Mr. Aldo himself.  Both opted to sculpt and create statuettes, of a sort; two beautiful, bronze pieces that went up for auction.

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Starcom’s CEO Bruce Neve captured a casual drink between Einstein and Marilyn Monroe, in a bid to visualize what a meeting between those two icons would have been like.  Einstein is thinking with his finger to his temple, and Marilyn’s signature style of hunched shoulders and opened mouth has her giggling alongside him.

I love words, as does Stephanie Nerlich, President and CEO of Grey Canada.  She opted to create a piece she called ‘From Origin to Idea and the Agony In-Between’ aka the creative process in a series of words all describing feelings of creative block which lead to those a-ha! moments.words

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The theme for the event was ‘Origin’, and each artist had to recreate what this meant to them.  A mesmerizing piece by Joseph Peters played with blues, navy to turquoise, showcasing the abstract ‘spark’ – or origin – that leads to life, ideas, and success.

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The most modern piece, in my humble opinion, was done by Hunter Tura of Bruce Mau Design Inc.  He used hundreds of thumbtacks, stuck in a board, to spell out the negative space around the words ‘Do Your Job’, to represent the origin of managerial philosophy.  Heavy.

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All of the pieces showcased the courage and uniqueness of the artists.  All money raised ($20,000!) went to fund Sketch, a community-art initiative for youth who are homeless or living on the margins.  The funds will go specifically towards their new art/community centre where the young artists can work and collaborate on their talents and passions together.  It’s a great Toronto initiative and it was nice to be a part of something so local and important.

I attended with my colleague, Dominique Vibien, VP Management Director at JWT.  We had an alternate objective.  Our agency is hosting our own art show and we were there to also scope out tips and tricks learned from AFTU. The work certainly set a high standard for what we expect from our own JWT staff, only our twist is that our auction is anonymous.

When Jill Nykoliation, President at Juniper Park, took the stage, she discussed her piece, entitled ‘Innocent Wonder’, which took inspiration from her daughter.  Looking more closely at it, you see goldfish swimming in the pond.  She addressed this, quoting a favourite Chinese proverb that says “sometimes the fish are the last to discover the ocean.”  She related this to the idea of wonder and discovery – something we all must approach without shyness and abandon.

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