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Volume 5, Issue 8

August 2013 


What's your see? squeegie


Medical Improv. Depending on your "see" of these two words, you're either intrigued or confused as to what relationship there might be between medicine and improvisation. As someone who champions bringing what appear to be disparate disciplines together - I use improvisation in business - I was intrigued when I came across an article about teaching improvisation to medical students. It seems like a perfect fit to me as medical students are evaluated on their ability to accept feedback, adapt to change, handle stressful situations and establish rapport. And as physicians, they need to listen, observe and be emotionally present "in the moment." Improvisation helps build these skills and I'll wager that all of us have encountered at least one M.D. who could use a little improv mojo. 


The point I'm making here is that there's value in expanding our "see" when it comes to bringing together two seemingly unrelated things. In doing so, we often uncover greater understanding, a new tool to use or a different point of view. In this month's see-musings, we spotlight poetry. I can hear some of you groaning already - POETRY? - but I ask you to stop...and challenge your "see."


In "The Animated Poet," principal Beck Ripley takes a look at the marriage between poetry and animation. For me, one of poetry's "jobs" is to evoke visual imagery in the reader. But what if, instead, poetry becomes inspiration for animation? We now have a shared vision. "Hey Mate, Spoken Word Might Help You Create" opens up ways we can use the power of Spoken Word as a tool in the workplace. Curated by principal Janice Criddle, the piece brings poetry into the 21st century...and the workplace. And finally, managing partner Kris Campbell brings us unique perspectives about work from modern day poets, an area that has been traditionally ignored by said scribes. No more. The editors of "For a Living" took two years to comb through thousands of poems about work - and have given us the best.




Boldly yours,


Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner

August 2013

In This Issue
  • The Animated Poet
  • The Power of Spoken Word
  • The Poetry of Work  

BrainThe Animated Poet
Curated by Rebecca Ripley, Principal at BoldWork

I'm intrigued by poetry, even when I'm not sure I understand it. I like that it slows me down--that I often read poems a few times to see if I might be able to grasp the poet's intent. Poetry, by its very nature, changes my "see."

 poet's corner cartoon drawing

Back From Krakow


I just returned from a fabulous vacation in Krakow, Poland, and my best friend and sister-traveler gifted me with a book by Poland's Nobel Prize Winner for Literature,Wislawa Szymborska. The brilliant forward to the book was written by our own Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, and his prose drew me into the heart of the book. It also made me curious about him.


Billy Collins at TEDWhen I googled Collins, I discovered a TED talk that tickled me. It also made his poetry more accessible. (Just a gentle reminder how important it is to make the information we pass on via workshops, presentations and speaking accessible to all members of our audience.) Collins partnered with the Sundance channel and Billy reads his poems while the creative folks at Sundance animate them. It's a delicious change of "see." Treat yourself to 15 minutes, or whatever you can afford, and watch and listen to any of the five featured poems. It will be time enchantingly spent...and your "see" of poetry is sure to change. 

Hey Mate, Spoken Word Might Help You Create  
Curated by Janice Criddle, Principal at BoldWork


My son is heading off to Boston to participate in this year's National Poetry Slam (NPS), a performance poetry competition dedicated to expanding the art of the spoken word. I kick myself for not buying a plane ticket. I went to hear my son compete a couple of years ago in St. Paul, MN and was thoroughly entertained and quite amazed at the experience. The poets tell stories from a wide range of subject matter - childhood to politics - with styles ranging from funny to satirical to dark, all in the mood of camaraderie, support and healthy competition. It was a magical experience.


spoken word graphic 

The Urban Dictionary defines Spoken Word as "poetry intended for onstage performance, rather than exclusively designed for the page. While often associated with hip-hop culture, it has strong ties to storytelling, modern poetry, post-modern performance and monologue theater, as well as jazz, blues and folk music. At its best, Spoken Word is a powerful, high-energy form of expression that attracts artists and audiences of all ages, from a wide range of disciplines and socio-cultural backgrounds"


I wondered if there were some way to combine the concept of Spoken Word with the challenges we face in business? Recently, a colleague shared a TED video with me that is thought-provoking and, I think, answers this question in the affirmative. Sarah Kay Sarah Kay, Spoken Word artist and founder of Project V.O.I.C.E., shares how she uses Spoken Word to reach/teach people and engage them in order to generate ideas. Two exercises in particular caught my attention - "10 Things I Know to Be True" and "10 Things I Should Have Learned by Now" - and I "see" how I can use them in a variety of ways, including helping a group build a more effective team and as an opportunity for different generations in the workplace to compare notes.


Settle in for 20 minutes with Sarah Kay, a fine Spoken Word artist. Treat yourself to a better understanding of how to use this art form in business...and experience two of her own poems, which I found amazing. Kay just might change your "see" of tapping into creativity. (Did you catch my rhyme?)


My son is saying that this will be his last National Slam, since he recently graduated from college and is looking for a "real job." After watching this video, I'm going to encourage him to find a way to stay involved with Spoken Word and take all that it embodies with him out into "the real world."



The Poetry of Work 
Curated by Kris Campbell, Managing Partner at BoldWork


see-musings is all about "seeing"our world of work in new and fresh ways. Our goal is to bring you articles, videos and information that are a bit like hitting the "refresh" button at the top of your browser. So I'm particularly pleased that we all got on the bandwagon about poetry for this issue.


Poetry has always been an important part of my life and I believe it's one of the most evocative forms of written art. Poetry has the power to transform our thinking and emotions with the fewest of words or the most elegant of stanzas.


reading red bookA few years ago, I discovered a wonderful book - "For a Living: The Poetry of Work," edited by Nicholas Coles and Peter Oresick. They bring together 96 modern day poets who explore the joys, sadness, success, failures and disruptions that work weaves into our lives. I've chosen two of my favorite selections to share with you.


Poetry of Work BookTake a break from your world of business memos, P&Ls, quarterly reports and stockholder statements. SEE the world of work through new perspectives. Through the eyes of everyday people in "white-collar, pink-collar, domestic, clerical, technical and managerial" work. From bitter humor to provocative insights, from the janitor to the CEO. This isn't just a simple "see"...poetry moves us to new places.




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