June 3, 2020
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Break the Rut

cMoe’s creativity forum encourages professionals to channel their inner child
Jason Kotecki

Staying creative and motivated at work can be tough. In 2016, the World Economic Forum predicted creativity would be the third top skill needed in 2020 to succeed. Now is the time to find ways to stay inventive in our jobs.

On March 11, I attended the annual IGNITE It! Creative Forum at the Children’s Museum of Evansville. cMoe has hosted this event for the last six years, offering business leaders and employees an opportunity to workshop with speakers on creative professional development.

“It’s really all about adults keeping imagination and creativity in play in our everyday life, even at work,” explains cMoe Director of Development Helen Zimmerman. “The whole message of the forum is that it is OK to be like a kid.”

This year’s workshop featured speaker Jason Kotecki, an artist and author who works to connect adults back with their childhood curiosity. Kotecki broke down for us how routines create what he calls “adultitis,” which is the typical stress and discontent adults feel when they get into ruts in their lives.

In our workshop, he explained how typical routines we have in adulthood can turn into ruts in the workplace, and how those ruts create rules for us that may not really exist.

“That’s essentially the core of my mission and my company,” says Kotecki. “Escaping these rules that don’t exist, these things we’ve been conditioned to believe, to get us back to who we were when we were kids, when we had curiosity, creativity, and we weren’t afraid to try things.”

We worked to identify these rules-but-not-rules, and Kotecki gave us tools on how to break them. We looked at perceived problems as actual puzzles that are fun to solve. We focused on reframing our perspective and seeing problems as opportunities. And Kotecki challenged us to continue thinking openly.

While Kotecki is not the average professional development speaker, I personally felt his words rang true. As someone who works in a very creatively demanding field, burnout is common. His tips and tricks can be easily transferred to my life and allow me to gain a fresh perspective.

As the state and country went into new social distancing restrictions the following week, Kotecki’s teachings took on an added meaning. During this time, Jason and his wife Kim began hosting daily virtual conversation meetings to address many topics. On March 19 in a session titled “Not Knowing is OK,” Jason reiterated his teachings of staying open minded, even if the times are unsure.

“You have to stay open to what is possible, even if you don’t know what possibly could come of it. I think that’s fitting of what is happening right now,” says Kotecki. “We’re all in a hard spot right now … it may be really hard to see what positive could come of this, and that’s OK. All I’m asking you to do is be open to it.”

cmoekids.orgescapeadulthood.com/blog
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cMoe Online

While the doors of cMoe remain closed, the organization continues to provide at-home programs to residents through social media platforms.

“cMoe is a place where families can gather, play, and learn together. Children and families will need cMoe more than ever after the crisis,” says the museum’s Executive Director Stephanie Terry.

She urges residents to consider donating through an un-visit ticket online to help cMoe continue offering virtual educational activies. Those looking to help in other ways are asked to consider memberships to the museum or making a donation to the museum’s Sustainability Fund.

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