In May 2012 I held the ‘Creative Tapas Experiment’ at La Lobera just outside Arenas. This was a two day event, where a group of about 50 people (some local, some from as far away as Oregon) met to co-create whatever they could in the space of a day. I described it as ‘an inquiry into leadership and creativity masquerading as a party, or vice versa’.
It was a powerful experience. At 10pm on the Saturday night, barely 24 hours after the group first met we experienced an amazing array of creations – a soundscape at the bottom of an empty swimming pool, three films (including a stop frame animation), a dance/movement piece accompanied by flute, human sculpture, a wish granting totem pole fashioned out of old tyres, a puppet show summarising the whole weekend and more.
We had a great time – the memories will be lifelong – but we also learned a huge amount. Some of the things that struck me were:
- the bravery it takes to accept an invitation
- the power of doing something before you are ready
- how many different styles there are to collaborate, not just working in a group
- how much energy the human dynamics of a group require
- how hard it is to give up control
- how much food matters
- the power of role, of character and of dressing up (I ended up in top hat and tails and that turned out to be incredibly powerful)
- how leaders need to sense and serve the group
A year and a half on, I intend to do some research to see what stuck for other people. I won’t be repeating the experiment but this is one of the ideas I am happy to give to other people to play around with. If you are curious, click here for more information.