How do you spark the passion within your community?

By Posted in - Community & Special Events on August 11th, 2011 0 Comments

Yesterday Caitlin and I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on a panel discussion that was part of Clemson University at the Falls Leadership Summit. The panelists included Robbin Phillips, president of Brains on Fire (one of our wonderful clients); Bill Barnett, former mayor of Spartanburg, S.C.; Bobby Rettew, principal at Bobby Rettew, LLC; and Edna Morris, CEO/Partner of Range Restaurant Group (which includes City Range). Russell Stall, executive director of Greenville Forward, moderated the discussion.

The conversation centered around how to spark or create passion within your community or organization, specifically using our home of Greenville, S.C. as a model example of a creative center (but also pointing out things we could still improve upon, too).

I have to tell you, some of the comments the panelists shared were truly inspiring. I wanted to share some of the more memorable quotes I jotted down with you.

“We find comfort in those that agree with us, and growth in those that don’t.” — Edna Morris (Take away: don’t just surround yourself with yes-people. Challenge yourself with folks holding opposing viewpoints, too.)

“Understand what your customers are really saying about you. Close contact with your customers on a regular basis will inspire innovation.” — Robbin Phillip (Take away: if you’re sitting in an ivory tower removed from your customers, you’re going to miss out on some incredible insight and possibility for creative solutions.)

“Passion is a language. Everyone has a story to share. The challenge is finding the red string that ties the people and the stories together.” — Bobby Rettew (Take away: When you find the common thread within a community, it can create the motivation to make change happen.)

“Expose yourself to people who’ve done it right and emulate their success. Also, set creative goals, but then understand the importance of execution, too. Ideas are nothing if they’re not acted upon.” — Bill Barnett (Take away: don’t just sit there and dream — get up and DO something about it!)

I wish I could’ve shared the whole session with you – I really got a lot out of it. Thanks again for Clemson at the Falls Leadership Summit for allowing us to sit in and listen.

To wrap up — what are you doing to inspire passion within your organization? How are you inspiring creativity within your organization? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. – check out this new website It’s a cool new site looking for community input on how we can make our community better. Shouldn’t every city have one of these?



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