Jan 20, 2020

The Power of Creative Collaboration

History tells us that when the right people focused on the right things assemble at the right time, truly remarkable things can happen. The power of their creative collaboration can send shockwaves through a given industry, changing the trajectory for everyone else that follows.

Over the weekend I watched the documentary “Echo in the Canyon”, released just a couple of years ago. The movie captures that extraordinary moment in time when folk music moved into the rock music area, catapulted by a set of recording artists all living in Lauren Canyon, California. It was an excellent movie that, in one way, memorialized a time in history. Yet, in other ways, in teaches us the power of creative collaboration.

Talk about design thinking and learning! Imagine working in this environment. The enclave in the canyon included such greats as The Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, a young Tom Petty, and so many others. They lived in close proximity and a tight knit community, fostering a creative collaborative environment that we can only imagine. Each band was busy creating a new sound, yet borrowing and building from each other’s work, and giving birth to a new era of music. What happened in 1965-67 in the Laurel Canyon informed and produced some of greatest works of modern pop and rock music and the industry was changed forever as a result.

What can we learn from Echo in the Canyon? The power of creative collaboration is undeniable. Put the right people together in the right place with the right tools and you can change the world. Music was their platform, but creative collaboration was their game. Imagine what educators can do when we get the right mix of people together.

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