Inspiration is Everywhere
Creative Scrapbook


Rankin x Latitude (a pop-up studio for the festival)

People said that 5 minutes with Nelson Mandela or Bill Clinton could feel like half an hour.  They would make you feel at the centre of their world.  I’ve just had 2 minutes with Rankin at Latitude and I now know what they’re talking about.  He honed in on me in a flash.  “What’s going on?”  “Put your fists up.”  “Give me a Michael Caine look.”  “Raise your glasses.”  “Show me some attitude.”   Done.

Several of our group had their photo taken by him and he was consistently insightful.  He found a starting point and then got us to react.  2 minutes and 25 images later he captured our essence.  

I think that limiting time to do a task is a profoundly interesting idea.  We often give groups repetitive tasks.  The second time round we give them half the time.  They always achieve more.

Alastair Creamer

Walking in your Shoes

This has been a fascinating social experiment exploring the generational divide that exists between 40 something parents and their 20 something children. It’s been a time of unprecedented social change and the result has been parents who’ve struggled to keep pace and children who’ve struggled to bring them up to speed. Unfairly dismissed as the ‘snowflakes’, our young women led their mothers through a range of experiments designed to give a real-world experience of life in their shoes. Covering everything from dating, to first jobs, to identity and sexuality, we see how the parent’s views are challenged, minds are opened and a deep level of respect of their young people results. 

In today’s inter-generational organisation, leaders that foster environments where people listen well and use their curiosity to better understand one another, will thrive. Much like reverse mentoring, the spirit here is of learning together rather than leading with the ‘establishment’ world view. How could experiments unlock the hidden possibility in your culture?

Letesia Gibson

How to make our gatherings meaningful

We spend our days meeting others. And in the workplace, it’s the one thing that draws the most complaints – ineffective meetings.  But how much care and attention do we really give to fashioning the way we gather?  Priya Parker believes that if we change the way we gather, we can change our culture.  She’s spent years designing gatherings that genuinely create new opportunity to inspire, connect, create and learn together. With a background in conflict negotiation, she has gathered leaders of countries together to find new solutions, for gatherings to be a signal for change, for meetings to create meaningful opportunities for networking.  Her number one tip?  Start with a clearly defined purpose that is unique to you, with a sense of provocation at its heart. 

It’s really worth standing back and reflecting on how fit-for-purpose our company gatherings are. We each have a unique identity and way of being together. By looking at this picture, what is now revealed about how our gathering could serve us better?

Letesia Gibson

Between Worlds

Olafur Eliasson expands my senses.  In his current Tate Modern show, In Real Life, ‘Your Blind Passenger’ is a long corridor of dense orange fog.  You can hear people but you can’t see them unless they’re standing right beside you.  The fog changes colour imperceptibly.   On one hand it’s playful, on the other it’s vaguely sinister. ‘Beauty’ is a gentle mist, lit so that it looks like flames dancing.  It looks hot and cold.  It’s part art, science, engineering and game.  Children dart in and out. 

Tom Homewood is a painter, based in Sussex.  By way of a (big) birthday present, we have bought three of his landscapes.  His paintings are recognisable depictions of specific scenes.  He lays down a first version and then adds further layers to them so they move from one specific place to something more abstract.

Tom is part of an exhibition at Glyndebourne called ‘Between Worlds’.  Both these artists have reminded me in recent weeks how powerful it can be to be in a liminal space – neither one thing nor the other, in a state of suspension.

Alastair Creamer

Be prepared to be changed

Rarely do I go to a gig and it’s jaw-droppingly good.  So I’m feeling blessed that two have come along.  KD Lang could sing the Highway Code and it would be ravishing.  Seeing her in Brighton recently confirmed to me that she is one of the superb singers of our times.  She has such control that it sounds effortless.  It is anything but that. 

So far, so expected.  Then along comes Celeste, a 25-year old soul singer from Brighton (complete co-incidence).  I missed her at Love Supreme but caught her at Latitude.  A heady mix of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Roberta Flack – you name it, she has it.  At the end, after singing a new song, “Strangers”, we just stood there, gob-smacked.  This was out of this world.

A great friend and colleague, Simon Boyle (chef, social entrepreneur and champion of the homeless) recently said to me, “Alastair, every time we meet I am changed.”  I always assumed it was the other way round!  However, thanks to Celeste and KD, I am definitely changed.  I see the world a little differently and I can’t change that.

Alastair Creamer