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The Simplicity Approach

Shelby Morrison

Hello again! It’s been so exciting to participate in this blog salon; to connect, to engage, and to exchange.

Writing and thinking about innovation is interesting. I think on an individual level and an organizational level, I/we haven’t always sought out to be “innovative” and much as we’ve strived to be “creative.”

The two concepts tend to go hand-in-hand, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an innovative idea that wasn’t creative, and vice versa. It’s a hard thing to constantly strive toward innovation and creativity. Sometimes these things just happen – that magic “Aha!” moment.

Those moments seem to come from having a conscious approach to the way we do our work; a conscious approach to considering the goals, outcomes, objectives, and constituents. Some solutions are simpler than others, and these are our favorite innovations.

RAW’s Door 2 Door project is a great example. The simplicity of using our resources, just literally extracting what we can out of those resources while meeting our goal of keeping constituents engaged was an incredibly conscious approach to the entire project.

June Rogers post about her organization’s bowl auction struck me. Another simple, yet innovative and creative solution to raise funds for the arts in Alaska while not depleting the resources of the artists they’re seeking to support. What a fantastic collaboration!

And on the subject of collaboration, Ryan Hurley writes a great deal about it, and collaboration done right has been a fruitful approach to innovation for RAW. In our experience, collaboration doesn’t have to exist between two organizations – the collaboration of two of our teams (fundraisers and youth artists) was nearly perfect. Jeremy, an alum of RAW who was on the original artist team and a recent graduate of Pratt Institute, says Door 2 Door is his favorite memory of his years at RAW. Simplicity works well for us, and seems to for other organizations that are part of this salon.

I’d conclude my blogging for the week with these final thoughts: Innovation, creativity, and collaboration can all become meaningless buzzwords quickly. I have a whole list of favorite buzzwords, including “the conversation” and “The Cloud” (more on that another time!) but I feel that these three are not mutually exclusive, are worth thinking about, and worth adjusting an organizations approach toward embracing these little buzzwords into your culture and everyday approach to programming and fundraising.

Feel free to “connect and engage” (buzz!) with me in a “conversation” (buzz!) on Twitter. You can find me tweeting (poorly) for myself, @shelbymorrison1, or for RAW, @RawArtWorks.

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