Going on a Birss-a-thon

I met Dave a couple of years ago when I had booked to go on the Spark.me conference on a  whim. It was in Montenegro. I didn’t know what to expect but it was great for a number of reasons. I came away inspired, enthused and excited. One of the stand-outs was the working sessions with Dave who introduced us to his way of generating ideas and debunking a lot of myths. You can read my thoughts on it at the time here.

But you can also see that I couldn’t quite remember as the diagram of aiming for the non-obvious is wrong. Always aim for upper right, not bottom right! Admittedly, I was doing all of that late at night after a full day, after quite a few drinks and trying to recall. Dave talks fast… I bought Dave’s book… I got distracted by life…

So, fast forward to this year and all the same kind of feelings were hitting. A need to recast the net to find some inspiration. Serendipitously, Dave’s course popped up – a course he was doing with Shama Rahman on innovation. Lockdown had kicked in, I was seeing lots of people taking advantage of up-skilling and while humbled that we were busy (insanely busy it turned out) while others were – and still are – being furloughed or worse, I wondered how I could take advantage of the sudden stop in commuting time or business travel time to get some of that inspiration. 

It turned out to be the best investment in time. An hour or more every day for 5 days of creative thinking to unblock. 

And here’s that same diagram in the correct manner:

“A mixture of inspiration and personal business therapy that could be summed up by re-booting the way you think by unlearning the way you currently think. The blend of creative thinking, neuroscience primers and actionable exercises that get you out of the comfort zone we all find ourselves in equips you with strategies and tools to push you into more creative and innovative thinking.” 

This is what I wrote after the course. I have tons of notes. 30 plus pages in my Google Drive. All of it gold. I even did the exercises at the end of every session. This is something I haven’t done for ages. It felt great to let loose and explore away from the day to day but clearly seeing where you could apply the principles.

I then went on a weird kind of Dave Birss-a-thon. I couldn’t get enough of Dave. I read his book. Twice. It also makes a great mouse mat and while that may seem a little weird, it’s a good reminder to follow his principles. I then took every Dave course on Linked In.

What I really enjoyed was they cement and build on the book and the course. If, like me, you find yourself having tons of ideas but procrastinating on them (yes, it is six months since the course and I’m only writing this now), then this combo of reading and listening/watching Dave really helps.

I’ve become a bit of a fan boy. Not in a weird, stalking way. But a tiny little Dave head pops up in my brain when thinking about problems. Dave has been a little voice that keeps saying:

“What’s the judging criteria?”

“Aim for the non-obvious”

“No, you have to give it the time and the status otherwise you’ll just get the uninformed first thoughts”

And obviously I do hear it in Dave’s distinctive voice.

We’ve all had to pivot in this uncertain world but Dave’s remote workshop course on Linked In is really the only place you need to look if you’re wondering how to do a good workshop over the Zoom airwaves. I feel fortunate to have participated in his online course early on in-person, it added some invaluable real life/live experience that assisted us as we moved our highly successful workshops into the tiny box of a computer screen. 

Do yourself a favour, spend some time and money watching Dave’s courses. Buy his book. And join me in hearing Dave whisper in your head.

Thanks Dave for spending the time talking to me about my own personal situations and for giving me some clarity. It meant a lot at the time. It still means a lot. Thank you.

I should point out Dave hasn’t paid me. He once did get me a beer in Montenegro but I’m pretty sure it was still a free bar at that point in the evening.

Published by nicholas gill

Nicholas is the Co-founder and Strategy Partner of Team Eleven. He leads the strategic development of integrated marketing experiences to improve business performance.

2 thoughts on “Going on a Birss-a-thon

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