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Your Instructions Aren’t Working For Me

“The rules are interpretations, not the law-especially in art”, my husband explains as we look at an art project that he, my daughter and myself created today at the Volcano Art Center.  The very lovely art docent who was trying to teach us about  Zen Tango art had laid out the “rules” for the art form and we were following along until a certain point where each of us diverged wildly from “normal”. I kept looking at her example and was following the rules, while my husband decided that her rules would not produce good art. My daughter was listening to the way she was instructing the other artists and talking to her colleagues and decided she didn’t like it and decided to go her own way.

How close does this experience mirror business? Employees? Staff?  Students?

I have recently taken on a project where I am teaching social media marketing at the local high school in the culinary arts program. My job is to teach the students in two culinary classes how to market their program to teach healthy eating and market their food truck, Pono Grindz, using blogging, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I am NOT micromanaging this project because I have learned from “Silicon Valley Start Up Culture 101” that you encourage the “creatives” to do their thing and sometimes they conjure up solutions that you may have never considered in trying to “teach them the proper way of doing things.”

The art project at the Volcano Art Center with my family today proved my point. The art teachers were watching in a mixed reaction of shock, interest and pride in what my daughter and husband were creating without their direction. Me? I was trying to get the “dolphin bubbles” around my holiday star just the right way. Personally, if they had shown me some examples of other people’s work and just let me go, I would have had a great time..but they put me in a box..and I sat there trying to mimic the artwork. Who needs that in today’s business world? If you want someone to keep status quo, work for the government. You WANT people who say, “Ok. Thanks for the general guidelines. I got it..thanks!” And LET THEM GO!

I am eagerly awaiting what the students in that culinary class are going to come up with. Whatever it is, I will give them some direction towards what “sells” or “creates engagement” for social media, but you know what? What if they come up with something that I have not yet seen? Do I tell them “That does not work for our objectives?” The world is changing so fast, and consumers are bird dogging in so many different directions right now, that they just might find something that yells, “Squirrel” better than anyone else.

Creativity, letting go, and TRUSTING are the ways to make an impact. When my husband and daughter were done with their art projects, they both received some “oohing and aahing” from the art staff. Sometimes, you just have to say, “If you feel you have to draw outside the lines, GO FOR IT.”

This, of course, works for people who are willing to INITIATE and deviate with courage. If you are NOT ready to initiate, you may glean some advice from this article with a clever story about going beyond the directions. 

If you would like to consider hiring Ziemelis Communications to help you get your end results with creativity and initiative, please call today at 808-785-2898 or




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