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Sandsculpting Your Social Strategy

Archisand sculpts the Intel logo at BlogHer '11

Archisand sculpts the Intel logo at BlogHer '11

Its been a long hot (hottest on record in Austin) summer and its nowhere close to over.

But it has been rich in experiences and inspiration.  The launch of Google+?  The fundamental change in the way we experience earthquakes and hurricanes due to social media?  Interesting enough to get me to follow @irene, but definitely not over the inspiration bar.

This summer, I have had a number of seemingly chance encounters with what I have come to know as “sandsculpting”.  It began when my best friend took her sand work on our annual beach trip just a bit more seriously this year – constructing the “Sand Turtle” still discussed by my 4 year old.  But I don’t think I consciously knew that sandsculpting a professional pursuit until it was out in force at BlogHer’11 (see above).

But it was not the beauty of the creations, but the reasons for pursuing sandsculpting that inspired me to find a renewed love of my own work.  In addition to doing their thing at BlogHer, Archisand had recently built a huge display of scenes from Sydney Harbor at the US Open of Surfing earlier in the week (Video Here).  A colleague who had spoken to them there told me their unofficial story. They were a group of talented architects who got burnt out on what they were using their talents on at work and started making extreme sand castles to blow off steam and flex their creativity.  Eventually some of them were able to turn it into a fiscally responsible pursuit.

This got me thinking about the limiting mindset that much of solid social strategy is “block and tackle”.  The relentless pursuit of relationship and connection can be tedious and exhausting – if we let it.  But good strategy doesn’t have to be “eating your wheaties” alone.  While the basics must be done, it is doing them beautifully that will inspire yourself and those around you.  I have found new inspiration in big, creative sandcastles of ideas (built on the firm base of solid strategy) and insodoing have reawakened my love of my own profession.

If your social strategy has been in motion for a year or more without a second opinion or a new shot of creativity, use your knowledge the weekend eyes of an architect to sandsculpt it into something new that re-inspires you and will be more likely to inspire your customers.

  1. August 29th, 2011 at 05:34 | #1

    The beauty of working with sand – on a beach, or in a sandbox – is that (a) you have unlimited possibilities. And, (b) it isn’t an intimidating medium. Give anyone a drinking cup and they can easily dig a moat and fill the cup with sand to make towers. Voila… sandcastle. We get that.

    The lack of permanence of something made in sand changes attitude. It isn’t built to last forever. It isn’t carving marble… If you make a wrong dig… you just plop some sand back in that spot to fix it.

    All these factors allow us to be more relaxed in our approach, which results in unrestricted creativity with impressive results.

    So… the trick is… how do we allow ourselves creative freedom to stop worrying about perfection while we’re brainstorming and crafting? Just like we do when we’re diggin’ in the sand… Freedom enough to see the different possibilities?

    Use *that* to build something creative and out of the ordinary that truly engages (and inspires) others in meaningful ways.

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