"And the beat goes on................"
There is a game on the internet that is gaining traction. No, not Pokemon Go. Meant to be fun, and maybe make you laugh, if not guffaw. Simple and silly. You fill in the blanks for four words to describe:
How to Ruin A First Date.
_______ _______ ______ _______
As in: OH, THERE'S MY EX
Or: MY RASH IS GETTING BETTER
YOU LOOK ALMOST HEALTHY
LOAN ME FIFTY DOLLARS
ALIENS ONCE ABDUCTED ME
A JOB ISN'T IMPORTANT
You get the idea. It's endless.
And you can use any question.
I thought the game could be played in the arts, but with a more meaningful purpose -- to actually stimulate some thinking on some of our big challenges; a way to jumpstart conversations and get us into the mentality of asking some probative questions. An ice-breaker, designed to encourage a focus during a subsequent conversation. Call it The Four Word Group Think or something.....
So: How Do We Increase Public Valuation? might yield answers like these:
FOCUS ON KIDS FIRST
MAKE THE ECONOMIC LINK
ENOUGH ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS ALREADY
EMPHASIZE THE COMMUNITY CONNECTION
MAKE RELEVANCY THE PRIORITY
IMPLEMENT PUBLIC MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
PLACEMAKING AT THE CORE
OR: Why Are Our Audiences Declining? might produce answers like these:
THE CONTENT IS IRRELEVANT
THE COSTS ARE TOO HIGH
THE HOURS ARE INCONVENIENT
IT'S A BIG HASSLE
I'VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE
WHEN IS IT PLAYING?
OR: How do we jumpstart equity in the Arts? with these answers possible:
MORE MONEY TO MULTICULTURALS
MORE ACTION, LESS TALK
DIVERSIFY STAFFS AND BOARDS
IDENTIFY STRUCTURAL RACISM POLICIES
ELIMINATE STUCTURAL RACIST POLICIES
SHIFT PHILANTHROPIC DOLLAR CONTROL
JETTISON "UNDERSERVED" "AT-RISK" TERMINOLOGY
MORE TRAINING FOR EVERYBODY
The answers might vary widely depending on the question asked and of whom. As a tool this might be valuable to use at staff meetings, retreats, conferences, panel sessions, summits et. al. to address almost any issue and to get people involved. It requires answers that are succinct and to the point, bans long winded analysis at the outset, and it allows for thinking that can be discussed, agreed or disagreed with, and invites subsequent deeper analysis. It's just a new way to consider old challenges; one that lends itself to varied Step 2 processes and protocols - by breaking into smaller groups, narrowing the discussion to one or two responses, seeking expanded ideas, suggesting further research etc. Anything that fosters new thinking or new approaches seems to me of value, as we tend to get mired down in the same kinds of approaches and discussions, using the same tired tools and protocols, for too long. And, as a consequence, we get stuck.
So one question might be:
How do we get ourselves unstuck and moving again?
TRY NEW DIFFERENT APPROACHES
Have a great day.