Kevin Carroll is the 2014 VenueConnect closing keynote speaker and is the author of three books—Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!, and The Red Rubber Ball at Work. As an author, speaker, and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Carroll’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations, and individuals—from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren—to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.
We have an interview with Carroll in the upcoming June/July issue of FM magazine. To get you excited about the conference and the article, here’s a little teaser from the full story.
FM: How much influence does play have on professional success?
Carroll: Play is the foundational piece to us being able to do so many things—problem solving, abstract thinking, innovation, ingenuity. When we were playing as children, we were honing skills in those categories.
You were getting better at problem solving, you were getting better at your imagination, being innovative, being ingenious, using your creative genius. You were doing all those things in play because most of the time what you were trying to do was extend the play, extend the game, keep the game going.
These very early exercises in using your imagination and problem solving and conflict resolution, all these things that you were doing out of necessity to just keep playing, all contribute to your ability to do that when you get into the professional world.
It’s about being around something that gives you joy, being around something that frees you up and doesn’t clog your brain, where you just open up and you’re surrendering to that moment. You’re so present because you’re doing that activity. You’re not thinking about anything else.
Physical activity actually primes the brain, and it’s an access for being more open to ideas. When you understand that physical movement—that breakaway, for example, to prepare yourself to get your mind right—can really increase the likelihood of coming up with the solution, then you really see how play and movement are really significant and important in our success professionally.
You don’t have creative confidence if you’re not practicing your playfulness. If you’re not practicing being innovative, it’s not just going to happen because you have an ideation session or a brainstorming session on your calendar. You have to be prepared for it, and you have to have creative confidence. I think play is at the root of our creative confidence.
There’s still time to register for VenueConnect. See you in Portland!