C2 Montreal is an experience like none other. Some might call it a “conference,” but that wouldn’t do it justice. After hearing rave reviews, Linder sent three teammates to Montreal in May to see exactly what C2 was all about. Linder is a group of visionaries and C2 was where we wanted needed to be. We became three of about 5,000 other forward-thinkers looking to explore and imagine.
The theme for 2016 was “How will you survive and thrive in the age of The Many?”. We would learn about the unraveling relationship between commerce and creativity as big corporations who previously led the way are pushed aside in a new world where social media puts the power of influence in the hands of millions.
After three days of content, experience, and sensory overload, we organized our findings into three buckets: Environment, Relationships and Creativity.
Environment has to be part of the process, not the framework in which you do the process. Innovation and inspiration needs to surround you, not be seen as the end product. When applying this concept to an office or work-space, think outside of a desk and traditional office. If you are looking to create innovation, you must live it.
Often our quality of work goes hand-in-hand with the relationships we have with partners, vendors and client. The relationships can mean so many different things. For example, the dynamic of the relationship you have with your next-door neighbor is different than that of the relationship you have with the mailman. C2 framed the approach to relationships in a different perspective: treat your client with the same level of interest, respect and consideration you would a friend. We don’t just want to have a relationship, we want to develop a level of understanding, comfort, and trust amongst our closest professional allies.
Creativity is more than mood boards and color scheme; creativity is how you think about a problem. In a recent Linder staff meeting, we re-produced an activity that we had participated in at C2 to demonstrate the complexities of creativity. We placed a normal, black folding chair at the front of the room and asked our colleagues to draw it. HOWEVER, the catch was that they had to create the chair by drawing everything around the chair, not the chair itself. Seems simple? Think again. Just as we had experienced the first time we attempted this activity at C2, your instinct is to draw the lines of the chair. This was challenging because it took you out of your comfort zone. When there isn’t a clear start and end place, it feels chaotic.
The lesson is that the negative space around the chair is what gives it context and content. You have to depend on the process and trust that the chair will emerge out of the negative space around it.
From the very first speaker to the last, C2 was already getting you excited about attending again next year, in 2017. There were multiple opportunities to register, announcement of key speakers, and previews of the content. If you are going to be a leader in innovation, you must keep pushing forward. Always be one step ahead. I am convinced, a part of me has been transformed.
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