It’s not a light bulb that appears… it’s a chandelier!

Chandelier MARLO

I love watching battle rap videos to see creativity at work. Watching how they respond to things being chucked at them live. I have a blog planned on ‘What Battle Rap taught me’ coming in 2015. Until then, here’s a cute quote that made me want to change the tagline for Ideas Genius. Video on our Facebook page.

“When we have ideas, it’s not a light bulb that appears… it’s a chandelier”

#Classic

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First Steps to Social Enterprise 2014 course launch

Olmec Empowering Communities invited Ruth Amarquaye to be part of the panel of speakers at the launch of this year’s First Steps to Social Enterprise with the aim of ‘Inspiring BME Women Into Enterprise’.  This launch was a free event with lunch provided by a successful participate of another Olmec course, and of course the opportunity to network and find out about the stall holders.  On the panel there was John Mayford, Director of Olmec; Makeeda Hewitt, Programmes Manager at Metropolitan Housing, Ruth Amarquaye of Ideas Genius; Caroline Odogwu of She Is You UK, Bala Thakrar of Naitika and was chaired by Annetta Bannett (Empress Nia Jai) of Impact Diversion.

Each member spoke of their involvement with Olmec and Ruth shared about her experience during the course:

“Right from the start of te course we knew got on when myself and two other ladies got under the table to fix it in place so the wobbling didn’t distract us from learning.  It was a group which felt more like a family and I am most grateful to Sam Obeng, or Uncle Sam as he became known as and Nathan Brown for going the extra mile to ensure we understood our legal forms and responsibilities.  Ideas Genius did not go on to becoming a Social Enterprise, but we have successfully embraced social aims and are working towards being a success business. Thank you Olmec.” Following the speaking, various people offered a workshop which gave a taster to elements coveredon the 12 week course. These included Nathan Brown, Sam Obeng and Nick Howe, Enterprise Manager of NatWest Business Banking.

Applications are now open for the next cohort of the First Steps course and we will encourage every BME Woman who has a dream of being in business to apply.  Even if you do not end up as a Social Entrepreuneur, you will end up as an entrepreuneur who makes a social impact.  You have until 31st August to submit your application and you can find out more at Olmec’s website

The B Word

Some phrases stick in your head for a long time. A rather colourful Product Development lecturer once commented that ‘accountants are the condom on the (man parts) of progress’. I have censored his statement here for obvious reasons but the intent of his remark is clear. Looking at creativity by what your budget allows you to achieve limits your fullest potential.

So why do budgets – the B-word – have such a bad name? After all, managing budgets is a great skill to have. We are encouraged to be wise and mindful of our resources. 

In creative terms, working with a budget as you develop your ideas or ambition is like buying a dress and then dieting to fit into it. Of course you should be aware of your current financial means. However, they should not dictate how ambitious you can be.

A good idea comes from being able to think freely and creatively. That should also apply to how you view using your money. A helpful process for thinking this through is:

  1. What could you do if money wasn’t a concern?
  2. Are you able to fund it with your existing budget?
  3. How else could you get it done?
  4. Who else would be interested in getting the most out of the idea? (see post on partnerships)

Budgets are a tool rather than a permission to make something amazing happen. The discipline and strategy of budget management are good for things you want to control. However, chances are you do not want to limit your best possible ideas before you have had them because you don’t think you can afford it.

To get the best out of your creative process, teams or efforts, forget the B-Word. At least until you have a good enough idea. Then use your best budgeting skills to make it happen.

Understanding Your Relationship

It’s a common cliché that no two relationships are the same. This is true for both our business and our personal lives. Your partnership with one person can be more effective than with someone else. This blog breaks down some of the ways in which people work together.

I’m going to keep the jargon down to a minimum and use everyday illustrations to really spell it out. In my observation, there are 5 primary types of relationships:

1. The Fork and Knife

imageIn this kind of relationship, both Fork and Knife split the work and address what needs to be done together. They both sell tickets, or run the event, or paint the hallway or make the cupcakes. This relationship is about many hands making the work lighter or easier. Yes, one could do it by themselves (I have on occasion tackled a piece of meat with just a fork) but working together gets the job done better. One might have an advantage in a particular area i.e. access to a different kind of resource or audience. Overall what they want to achieve is the same thing.

2. The Ball and Bat

image

This is often the kind of relationship mentors have with their mentees or coaches have with clients. The Bat gives the Ball energy to go further than it could have under its own ability. In this type of partnership, the Bat and Ball don’t make the same journey. They are essentially independent until they come together.  It’s only when they come into contact, that the power happens – not independently, but through their exchange.

3. The Ball and Glove

imageThis is similar to the Ball and Bat partnership and is seen in cricket or baseball. The Glove helps the Ball connect to the right stumps or base. The Ball travels a vast distance but it’s the Glove that catches it, gets it to the right place and makes the journey worthwhile. This type of relationship is common for creative people who can have 101 ideas a minute and need more strategic partners to make a business out of the idea.

4. The Spade and Bucket

imageThe old school ‘bringing home the bacon’ analogy – when one of the team brings in a lump sum and another apportions it to what needs to be taken care of. The role of both parties is handling resources but in different capacities. I know a great fundraiser who can generate money for whichever course she chooses. Her partner takes those resources and manages the account that needs to be done. The Spade may seem more dynamic but the Bucket can handle more than the Spade could by itself. In fact, it can handle more than one Spade.

5. The Panties and Bra

imageSometimes the same method cannot be used to cover the essentials. This is the idea of the Panties and Bra relationship. They both cover different areas yet can be identified as a matching pair. They do not do the same job and are not interchangeable  They have fundamentally different ways of working. However without one or the other, things can be left exposed.

These are the five broad areas in understanding the kinds of partnerships you may have to negotiate. It is important that you know what is best for your situation.

  • Is my partner selling tickets within their demographic?
  • Am I a periodic resource for an infrequent sponsor?
  • Do I manage the intellectual offering of a highly creative person?

However you see yourself, once you get what makes your partnership work (or not), you’ll be able to improve on it to get the best out of it for both of you.

For more insights on working relationships, contact info@ideasgenius.com and follow us on Twitter @ideasgenius.


Our new two-date workshop for 16 -19 year olds is FREE, thanks to our partners.  The aim is to help young people define and achieve their personal goals as well as core leadership skills.

These skills include Critical Thinking, Goal Setting, Diplomacy, Self-Efficacy and What To Do When Things Go Wrong.  Spaces are very limited so book as soon as you can to guarantee a place for your child or mentee. Download and share this e-flyer.