I had a chance to chat with some of the brilliant people who mad the Echo Conference so great. I always like to debrief events like that to capture what I learned and to check in on what I missed.
So there’s Ikea, minding their own business one day and someone discovers that a trace amount of horse meat is found in meatballs served at their cafe. I never knew Ikea even served food; do you have to assemble it yourself there at the cafe?
Ikea probably isn’t known for their food nor do they depend on it to have a thriving business model, after all they sell furniture. Yet a lack of transparency from one of their venders, who probably accounts for an immeasurably small line on the Ikea balance sheet, was found to have used horse meat in meatballs supplied to Ikea.
And in a flash Ikea has a PR fire to deal with.
Transparency is everything in our new, real time, communication world. Your organization simply does not have the resources or the power to control the message the way you once did in years past.
The only thing you can control about the message is how transparent you are and in that transparency you better have a good message because we can see right through you.
The old adage; sell for what the market will bear just doesn’t ring true anymore. No longer can you and your team scheme and strategize for how to game your ‘target’ into acting on your pitch. You have to have a real story that provides people with real value, because if word gets out you’re trying to slip one by, game over.
Once again an amazing surprise filled week has come to an end and now it is time to put into action that gleaned from wonderful conversations with brilliant people. Here are my notes of things I learned and things I shared.
Burnout, avoiding burnout, recovering from burnout and everything that goes with that seemed to be a recurring theme this week and it was providential that Mike Woolley was on hand to share his wisdom on the matter.
Key take aways: slow down, don’t try to please everyone, be real about problems and don’t value some job over your well being.
Another recurring theme was the various shortcomings of the Sunday morning ‘church’ experience. People fell into various camps on this one but most would agree that the ‘C’hurch has been phoning it in, at the very least, on the art and creativity side. Andy Crouch hinted at this in his talk and equated what the Church is producing with post cards rather than art…I think he’s right on.
The Sunday church experience is a pretty sacred cow to a lot of people (Boomers, older X-ers) and will take some time to rethink. I know I have some strong ideas about this.
This was an undertone both in the conversations I had and some of the content presented. Andy Crouch really drove it home with his talk. I love how he said it’s not so much about why artists are making terrible art but rather who/what in church culture trained people to want this crap? We CAN do better than this. I’m anxious to see what the next generation can come up with.
I was whipping my phone out throughout the week adding new tracks and artists to my ‘Recommended’ playlist. Heading into the week I assumed that literally everyone there would be on Spotify; I was shocked at how many people had not even heard of it. If music is important to you, get on Spotify now. If music is your career then you need to get Spotify Premium …NOW!
For me, Andy Crouch was the absolute highlight of the week…hands down. I’ve seen him in action a couple of times before and I knew he would bring some fantastic creative wisdom.
Phil Madeira was a joy to listen to both in the interview and in concert.
Marridee’s, always the breakfast of choice at Re:Create now has some stiff competition right around the corner at Frothy Monkey.
Like most years in my role I get pretty dang busy from October right up until Christmas and I have to cut out some peripheral activities…like keeping the blog updated. So here’s a flyover of what’s coming up this year.
Re:Create Conference – February 4-7
Re:Create is an intimate gathering that has become close to my heart and an important part of my year. It’s kind of a hybrid between a retreat and a conference.
SXSW Interactive – March 8-12
In terms of content, this is the most important conference of the year for me. The conversations regarding culture, sociology technology and creativity are un-matched by any other single gathering. If understanding culture and the future direction of society is valuable to what you do…you need to consider attending.
Echo Conference – July 24-26 tentative
I’m noodling with the idea of heading up to Dallas for Echo Conference. It presents a good opportunity to connect with people and hang out. The content is on the 101 side of things so I encourage a lot of people who are newer to creative roles in church space to check it out.
I’m working through my event schedule right now but I expect to be at all the early season Texas classics with Bat City Cycling. I’ll also be at some spring events like Coldspring, possibly Joe Martin stage race. I’m also looking to head to Northern California for Levi’s Gran Fondo which gives me a chance to go see my family
Friday is my day off and I was out running errands and hustling around. As I made my way to the bank I flipped on KUT. There was an interview taking place and within a few minutes it was clear that they were talking about some kind of recent crime. It had to be something terrible for KUT to break from music to full on news mode so I leaned in and tried to piece it together. The interview ended and the news person cited what was known so far; A shooter went into and elementary school in Connecticut and killed 26 people…some where children.
I cussed out loud.
I pulled into the bank parking lot in a trance with the 100 yard stare. I’m pretty sure I went into the bank and did some banking but I was out of it for sure. I went home and sat at my computer and went straight to the NPR site to get some facts. I was also in the middle of a side project so text, emails and phone calls were humming on my phone as I think the people I was working with were pretty focused on their task and had yet to hear. Eventually that stopped.
I couldn’t focus. I cried a couple times. I saw President Obama say a few words…I lost it again.
This hit me hard. This hit closer to home and deeper in my soul than the events of September 11, 2001; mostly because where I was in life then and where I am in life now.
I think it hit a lot of people really hard…these were little children with their whole life ahead of them. This was a new level of evil, fear and insanity.
They need to start processing this, coming together as a community and a family. They need to find some kind of new normal. They cannot begin to do this until the last news van pulls out of town and the last reporter has called. Danah Boyd really brought it home on this issue as she recalled the story of kids who were never able to get back to their life in Columbine because of the relentless media presence. I can’t tell you the name of a single youth killed at columbine but I can tell you who did it.
Turn off your TV. Stop tuning into the circus. The media will continue to pimp the people of Newtown to the masses as long as we keep eating it up. So stop. We know what happened now, or at least enough, so lets cry and let these people get on with their lives. And to the media people; act like humans for once…please. I don’t know the name of the broken soul that perpetrated these awful acts and I don’t want to…ever.
I wish it were as easy as passing a law, it’s much more complicated than that. These crimes are a symptom and the debate I see around gun control is simply about dealing with the surface level issue. I don’t really care where you stand on the gun issue and we should move on from that debate for now. Not enough people are talking about the underlying fear and the failings of our system, community, families and health industry. Here’s a quote from an article you must read:
“We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty.
Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a “civil” war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we’re afraid of. It’s invasion as foreign policy. Sure there’s Iraq and Afghanistan – but we’ve been invaders since we “conquered the wild west” and now we’re hooked so bad we don’t even know where to invade (bin Laden wasn’t hiding in Afghanistan, he was in Pakistan) or what to invade for (Saddam had zero weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11). We send our lower classes off to do the killing, and the rest of us who don’t have a loved one over there don’t spend a single minute of any given day thinking about the carnage. And now we send in remote pilotless planes to kill, planes that are being controlled by faceless men in a lush, air conditioned studio in suburban Las Vegas. It is madness.
We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes? Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem (again, number one in the industrialized world) and then maybe there would be fewer frustrated, frightened, angry people reaching for the gun in the drawer. Maybe we would take better care of each other.”
Friday I got to hug and kiss my children when they returned home from school. I want them to grow up to realize their dreams. I want them to live in a world where they don’t have to have fears about stupid stuff. Yes, life is hard and trials will come and there will be fear; but we still need to progress toward something better…otherwise, what’s the point?