I am a play expert. A sherpa, guiding adults out of their comfort zones to re-discover creative capacity.
My personal hero is Sir Alexander Fleming, the scientist famous for saving 200 million lives. It was his play ethic that drove the discovery of Penicillin. The image of a man with furrowed brow focused on test tubes and lab reports just isn’t accurate. In truth, he was “painting” with germ samples. For fun. Penicillin was an accidental discovery as he tried to generate new colors for his artwork.
Years ago, I was a school teacher. Like Fleming, my students thought, solved problems, wrote and designed like artists— out of their seats and away from their desks—with permission to engage hands and hearts in the process of learning.
My approach was unusual in an educational system that was designed at the turn of the century to churn out factory workers.
Seth Godin, enterpreneur, speaker and best selling author blames our schools for what he sees as “…the greatest shortage in our society — [an] instinct to produce. To create solutions and hustle them out the door. To touch the humanity inside and connect to the humans in the marketplace.”
I saw with my own eyes how the overemphasis on test preparation erodes curiosity and handicaps the natural ability to innovate. Godin calls its unfortunate byproduct a “compliance surplus” in the world of business.
Now, my mission is to apply my discovery play techniques to foster creative vision, initiative and leadership at every level of the corporate structure. In my custom designed workshops, events, experiences and office cultures, adults re-discover their kindergarten selves before their crayons were taken away. They develop agility and resilience in the face of rapid change. They learn to disrupt old patterns. Think in new ways. Loosen their grip on old stories and create new ones. They become innovators, designers, influencers, storytellers and change makers once again.
Here at Play Buffet, I share snapshots of discovery play at home, in the marketplace and at work.