The biggest challenge working in a creative field isn’t how to stay creative. It’s how to stay inspired. Creatives in general aren’t motivated monetarily, although it is a perk for some. Typically the gratification comes from seeing that you are making an impact whether it be educating an audience, improving sales of a product, or for me, seeing the world around us get a little better each day.
A few years ago I had attended the See Change conference in Minneapolis with one other designer. It was in the moment dynamic and motivating. It super charged my intent to balance my workload with do good projects and volunteerism. As the months went by I lost some of the spark. I needed to go back to See Change to reignite but this time I was going to bring the entire team.
Regardless if they were a designer, writer, account person, we were all going to experience listening to “leading visual communicators share insights on inciting and navigating change – vital to thinking differently.” We were pretty jazzed for several reasons.
- Field trip! A day out is a day out!
- Part of our mantra is focusing on positive change. What! There is a one-day event focused totally on change? Brilliant.
- Kick-ass speakers. You see a NASA title – it’s bound to be huge.
By bringing the team, we’d be able to collectively sustain the ideas and energy longer. We could reference this experience for the rest of the year – and bring the inspiration back to the forefront. I won’t give a rundown on favorite speakers or their fantastic abilities. Instead I simply want to share some of the main themes we heard that day.
The themes of why or how design is an important part of the conversation around change:
- Design is not icing on the cake. It’s part of the batter. Through collaboration, we can impact the result.
- Be compassionate, empathetic, open-minded and embrace differences. Being inclusive allows for better experiences.
- Don’t know how to do something – dive in. Expose yourself to new information and opportunities; it could change your life.
- It’s not about changing the entire world; it’s about changing individual people’s lives. And we can do that. Every day.
Now that it’s been a few weeks since we went to See Change, I have broadened my lens and taken a step back. Our team is collaborative, explorative, empathetic and quite inspired. And it is now easy to see our team is changing lives whether it’s a few blocks down the street or an entire community across the river.