Most spaces (communities, collaboration rooms, Slacks) operate on an invisible contract of transactionality. A community, for example, has a goal (/culture fit). Its members introduce themselves and exchange respective utility until outcomes.
The opportunity not often taken is to be creative together.
We cannot be clear when we think of a new idea (/are creative). We don’t yet know what we want to say or where our thoughts would lead. These frequent moments ask for open-ended affordances. We need to be allowed to pause in a space that does not have a ticking to-do list.
Interpersonally, we can’t be transactional while being creative. We need to hold space for creativity. And use the energy ‘creative confusion’ allows.
I experimented with a few such containers. Thirdness was a paid members community where a weekly prompt allowed discourse in what I call band practice for solo artists. Critical Business School was a series of monthly workshops (between Aeon and Harvard Business School) where members meet for four 1-hour-long sessions, in prompts and discourse, but no introductions until the last 10 minutes of the final session. The most recent container is On creativity. A book that will never be published, which I am writing as a body of ideas the community can discuss and build on.
The goal of a container is to tend to the air (/energy) between the members, as opposed to program what is said or done, where we can decide if we want to ‘add another log to the fire’ or ’open a window.
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I recommend this workshop for community builders, innovation consultants, managers, and coaches.