Creativity in Water…Who Knew?

Posted by A. Smith on Jun-23-2010

NYC part three

Last week, I was sitting at Comix in New York City surrounded by Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. People who made the list ran the gamut: a physician from the Cleveland Clinic, the head of Bono’s organization Red, a futurist, Jesse Dylan, early adopters of virtual reality, and a Hollywood studio development director, to name a few.

Today, I am sitting aboard a Jetblue flight leaving Las Vegas so it only seems fitting the creative honoree I would write about is Mark Fuller, CEO of WET and the genius behind the famous Bellagio Fountain. Fuller’s ideas were brilliant and resonated strongly with me. Here is a summary of his 15-minute presentation:

First, creativity requires three things:

1. Cool work

2. Bright minds

3. Terrific environments, where people have the tools they need and are allowed to chase their dreams

Once these fundamentals are fulfilled, leaders must challenge people with great work. And, they must give everyone in the organization the opportunity to exercise creativity and thrive.

“We’re not blue collar or white collar,” said Fuller. “We’re black collar. Everyone does it together.” Further shedding light on his workforce, Fuller shared that he is completely against outsourcing. After all, we hire people for a reason so let’s give them the opportunity and environment to succeed. In Fuller’s case, this takes shape as an “idea playground,” which offers variety, encourages interaction and engagement, and fuels creativity.

At WET this “idea playground” translates to a state-of-the-art facility featuring white walls for brainstorming, a piano, classrooms, art, labs, models, design space, etc. Now this sounds like the kind of place where creativity is valued – the kind of work place in which I would love to play. Anyone want to get WET?

“We make people look at water with the eyes of a child, like the first time you see the ocean.” – Mark Fuller, WET

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