10 October 2011

Corporate Puppetry

Over the past weeks, I have finally started making inroads into the world of corporate creativity in Australia. It was, at first, a daunting process, with the question "how would the corporate world accept 'a puppet' as a tool of transformation, communication and change"?  I've never really been a part of that executive club with the corporate empire seeming extremely alien to my world. I'd never even dared to don a suit, let alone enter the golden gates of 'The Corporation'. That is, until now! Armed only with a roll of brown paper, a Mbira (African thumb piano) and a few household objects, I entered the boardroom with baited breath. I suppose I anticipated the suits would attack me and tear my creative soul into shreds, but this didn't happen. They instead lapped it all up and cried out for more.

So imagine this. A bunch of business executives rolling around on the floor and re-discovering their 'lost child', while animating an empty soap bottle, a hammer, a pliers, a bottle opener and a broken garden tap. The results were outstanding and the metaphor worked like a charm.

It all began with a large insurance company wanting to expose their IT Department to a creative experience, where they would get the chance to empathize with both their product and their customers. I lead them through some improvisation techniques, which allowed them to feel 'safe' in the creative space and gave them the license to explore the 'characters' injected into their objects and resolve work related issues while telling their stories.

Then last week, I participated in a three-day Creative Methods Conference, sub-titled 'Widening the World of Work' held at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne.

Not only did I get a chance to learn 'the true corporate creative experience', but I also got the chance to present a short taster workshop last Thursday afternoon in the Bishop's Parlor. (You can see cartoonist Simon Kneebone's impression of the workshop above). You can also view my short promo piece for the Storyteller Conference blog here.

All in all I found the conference a truly inspiring three days, meeting like-minded souls engaged in both creativity and change in the empire of the corporate. Watch this space for more such talk soon!

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