10 Reflections On 2018

Last week I had the opportunity to reflect on 2018 during the 11-hour flight back from Japan. (yes, we are also looking for at that city for another Creative Escape!).

In 2017, I had a 7-week sabbatical from work that provided me the chance to refresh, recharge and explore the power of creativity *

I had been fortunate to have worked in the innovation sector for over 10 years and seen first-hand how powerful innovation and creativity is in unlocking our personal potential and those of the organisations we work in. I wanted to take the time to explore this more and combined with my passion for travel, I set off with my wife Angie for New York City – one of the world’s most creative cities.

We put together a program that enabled both of us to both learn and explore, and at the same time enjoy all the city has to offer from health and wellness activities like yoga, to great restaurants, the coolest bars, famous street art and galleries, and talking to inspiring creatives, business and community leaders.

This experience was so impactful that on our return I left my 30+ year corporate career in a global professional service company. We saw an opportunity to assist others to benefit from the power of creativity and being inspired by the places, people and culture when time is taken to learn and immersive in a great city. So, we founded Creative cities 21!

We were overjoyed when in August of this year we hosted the first croup of participants in our Creative Escape in NYC.

Here are my 10 (+1) reflections on the year, focused on starting our business…..

  1. People are very kind with their time.
  2. Know your customer really well and put them at the centre of all your activities.
  3. Social media is very demanding and is not the magic sauce.
  4. Be open to pivoting and just accept you didn’t hit bullseye first go.
  5. Keep moving forward, even if slower than you want.
  6. Commit and truly believe to help soften the negative little voices that can get you down.
  7. Look for and really listen to honest and at times brutal feedback. Then thank them for it.
  8. Be prepared to learn new skills.
  9. Be comfortable with ambiguity.
  10. Be truly authentic.

(11. Have some fun!).

Thank you for your time in reading this – and feedback is most welcomed!

Angie and I wish you a safe, happy and successful 2019!


– Creativity is identified as the third most required skill by the World Economic Forum.

– IBM survey of 5,000 CEOs has creativity as the No. 1 required skill.

– Adobe’s Global State of Create survey of 5,000 people: 70% identified creativity as valuable to the economy & society and makes people better workers, leaders, parents and students. Only 31% deliver on it. They also responded saying it will make you happier and healthier.

Creative Cities 21 re-energises people through 5-day creative escapes in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of painting, acting, innovation & travel, we ignite your creativity, helping you realise your personal and professional potential. Find out more about our 2019 programs at www.creativecities21.com

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