When I was 8 I talked of running away to join the circus. By 15 I was far too serious to consider anything so frivolous, and enrolled in an engineering degree as a close alternative.
A decade after graduating, and following roles in organisational development, strategy, change, sustainability and even social enterprise, I find myself just a few days from boarding a train to live out my eight-year-old dream by training with Greentop Circus in Sheffield.A third-life crisis perhaps? (I haven’t told my mother yet!)
It’s quite acceptable to be inspired by creativity, be it a performance, a sculpture at The Tate, or a tango class, in our personal lives. Seeing or doing art encourages conversation, reflections on human nature, and who hasn’t had a romance assisted by a strategically-but-ever-so-casually-played music album?!
Pan now to the sensible world of work, where creativity tends to be relegated to team-building days or opportunities for sponsorship. Work = getting things done = being productive = being busy.
If you’ve ever visited an advertising agency, though, you’ll have seen hackie sacks, nintendo games and basketball hoops: recognition that great ideas need space and play. What stops other industries adopting the same practices?
The next three months in Sheffield are an opportunity to see the place that performance and physical theatre have in business. I will be exploring the magical boundary where creativity and practicality meet.
While riding a unicycle.