Here’s a scene you wouldn’t typically associate with Shakespearean theatre:
People ages 8 to 80 whoopin’ it up as they learn about the six wives of Henry VIII. That was just the scene during Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Six.
How? The historical characters were presented as pop stars, mimicking the likes of Beyoncé and Ariana Grande. Co-writer Lucy Moss called it “a mash-up between a contemporary pop and Tudor silhouette.”
It’s the idea of pairing two seemingly disparate elements to create a whole new level of meaning. Pop music + Shakespeare. Or hip hop + history + Broadway for the amazingly successful phenom of Hamilton. It’s where 1 + 1 = 10.
And it’s not just for Broadway and the rich and famous.
Start with creative partnerships.
A good way to spark new ways of looking at things is by having people of different backgrounds at the planning table.
I was challenged when planning a recent conference for a membership organization on how to engage more young people to attend the event. Rather than creating the final product in a vacuum, guessing what might be appealing, we created a true partnership with two co-chairs, ages 20 something and 70+.
This intergenerational pairing brought new perspectives and ideas that made the event more interesting for everyone.
For Diversity & Inclusion and Unconscious Bias training we always have trainers in the room who are of different races and ethnicities. In addition to varied perspectives in the presentation, attendees may more closely identify with one or the other speaker as a doorway to more fully participating.
You can do it too.
For solo-preneurs and small businesses, you can infuse new ideas and spark new projects by partnering with other businesses. Here are three tips to jump start your success:
- Put on a different hat.
If you’re stuck writing a proposal or article, try a different approach. Write in third person, or make it a diary entry, quiz or open ended letter. All of these will help erase mind-block and let you get creativity on paper. It might not be your final format, but it will get juices flowing.
- invite someone for coffee.
Take the first step and reach out to someone with whom you might like to partner. Share some of your thoughts and ideas on projects you might pursue together.
- Look for difference of ideas.
Superficial physical differences do not guarantee that you will look at the world differently. Think of the power of Bill Clinton (Democrat) and George Bush (Republican, both Sr. and Jr.) joining forces around a common cause during global calamities.
Is it time to get out of your own head and get moving forward? Try something unexpected.
p.s. I couldn’t close without sharing this hilarious and unexpected Kafkaesque lens to the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road. It’s Kafka’s Joke Book. Enjoy!