by Gert Garman
“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?”
Leveraging those popular lyrics from Carly Rae Jepson’s hit song, being creative and innovative also starts with networking and meeting people everywhere you go. For me, that is the best part of Mindcamp! The first time I attended Mindcamp and walked into this room of amazing, creative, groovy people… I felt like I had come home! The content of the programs is always awesome and you’ll walk away with fabulous new insights and ideas in your pocket every time, but the new friends you collect is the most valuable part for me.
We, at Disney, like to promote unplanned collaboration between our Cast Members and how do you think that happens? It happens by chatting it up in the break room, in the hallways at work, on an airplane and pretty much just anywhere.
My friends, family and colleagues tease me because I like to talk to people everywhere I go, but you never know who you’re going to meet so each day is an adventure. There are serendipitous moments waiting to take place every day, but if you don’t start the conversation, you may never get to experience them.
When I travel by plane, I carry a book with me in my hand. But, I never read it. It’s just a prop so I don’t scare my seatmates away at first. I’ve carried the same book for a couple of years now, but my fellow passengers don’t know that. I have met some fabulous people in my travels just because I put my hand out and said hello. On a flight home from Disneyland Paris last summer, my seat mates were these two young ladies from Miami. It was a long flight so we had plenty of time to share our life stories. When they found out where I went to college, they figured it was a long shot, but wanted to know if there was any chance that I knew their best friend. Sure enough, I happened to be her sorority house mother. So, when we landed in Miami, I got to have a mini reunion with her at baggage claim. That would never have happened had I not started a conversation.
This same kind of collaboration can happen at Mindcamp. The person sitting beside you in a session, sitting at your table at dinner or singing beside you at the campfire one night might be working on a similar challenge to yours and can inspire you to come up with a fabulous solution. But you’ll never know unless you smile and say hi and strike up a chat. I look forward to meeting you at Mindcamp!
Gert Garman co-presents Cookie Swap: Stock your ‘kitchen’ with a delicious assortment of creativity energizers, tools & exercises at Mindcamp 2012. She is also one of our amazing volunteers.