At the beginning of October I attended the CreativeMorning’s Summit. This was a conference for anyone who is an organizer for a CreativeMornings Chapter. Around 200 organizers from all 99 chapters arrived in Brooklyn for a two day meeting at the Invisible Dog Art Center to talk, learn from each other, brainstorm ideas, and hear from some creatives like Debbie Millman and Sarah Kay.
The event started with a welcome from Tina Roth-Eisenberg, the founder of CreativeMornings, who gave a short talk on how CreativeMornings started and where she sees the organization moving.
Here are a few of my favorite take-aways.
1. Know Your Purpose
Tina began by explaining her purpose for starting the organization — she wanted to create a way for people to get together to talk about their work, and bring the creative community together, all for free.
Tina first started what would become CreativeMornings with a small event in her studio, and eventually started having events in other studios around Brooklyn and Manhattan. Soon, there was interest in Zurich to have events too. Eventually there was more and more interest, so CreativeMornings soon spread to around 10 cities. The goal for that first year was no more than 12, but it grew much faster than that, reaching double that many chapters in it’s first two years.
2. Creating Honesty
Tina wanted to create these events free of cost. There are many great conferences, but they take a lot of time away from the office, and a lot of money. CreativeMornings came out of the creating something that was free, and low on time commitment.
“If you take the money out of it, it gives it an incredible honesty.”
3. Clear Vision, Loose Structure
Tina talked about when starting an initiative, you need a clear vision but also a loose structure. You need a vision to guide others, but enough room for your teammates to explore and expand upon the idea. Create a system of accountability, and think long and hard when you want to implement a change to your organization, you never know how things will affect people.
4. It’s about What’s Right
In business, it often has to be about the bottom line and profit. That’s what keeps the world turning and the economy rolling. But I admire Tina so much for her enthusiasm and the way she always brings it back to people. At the end of the day, if you don’t care about you’re people and what’s right, you may not stay in business very long despite your financial success. In her words,
“It’s not about the bottom line, it’s about what’s right.” –Tina Roth-Eisenberg
5. Work (and Hang Out with) People you Trust
Tina talked about using this trust concept as a way to guide the organization. If you’re hanging out with or working with people that aren’t good for you, then change your life by changing your circle. And once you find the people you want to work with, trust them. This is my favorite quote of all, which is very aligned with life at AO:
“Trust breeds magic.” –Tina Roth-Eisenberg
We can’t start a successful organizations or lead projects without the help of a team we trust. At Atomic, you’re trusted from day one (until you mess that up). If we can’t trust our team mates and colleagues, mistrust will only lead to failure (and lots of grumpiness).
To see more from the Summit, check out the hashtag #CMSummit14 on Instagram and Twitter. And a huge thanks to the CM headquarters for planning and hosting.