Restriction & Creativity: What The CME Community Can Learn From Jack White


This morning I stumbled across this video of musician Jack White talking about his use of self-imposed restrictions to kickstart the creative process. It’s brilliant. For many of us, nothing stifles creativity like complete open-ended freedom. We need a few barriers to work around to get those creaky creative gears lubed up and running.

I strongly believe that this is a mindset that we in the CME community need to wholeheartedly embrace. Between the ACCME, AMA, FDA, OIG, PhRMa, diminishing commercial support, and Congress, we are full to overflowing with restrictions. So let’s get creative!

I’ll give one quick example (yes, I’m using something I did myself as the example. I acknowledge it’s self-serving, self-promotional, and whatever else you want to call it. The truth of the matter is that I’m writing this on my exercise bike and it’s the easiest example for me to use off the top of my head. Plus, it’s my blog and I can do what I want.)

Have you ever been planning to do a live program and an enduring material and had to cancel the enduring piece because of lack of funding? Or simply not done one because it was too expensive to record and produce? How about this as an alternative: during the live presentation, use Screenr to record the slides and audio from your presenter and instantly produce a screencast which can be uploaded to YouTube.

That’s what I did for this presentation on “The Anatomy of a Tweet”. No, it’s not as polished or professional looking as the typical CME webcast, but it’s not bad and it’s a HECK of a lot cheaper. And, I mean, c’mon…it’s slides and audio – how great does it need to look? Does it really need to cost thousands of dollars? I’d absolutely watch something like this and be just as satisfied as watching something professionally produced…as long as the content is good (bingo!).

And it doesn’t have to stop there.

Want participants to have a copy of the slides? Put them on SlideShare or Flickr.

Want to engage your audience beyond the live presentation? Tweet out key points along with slide images.

Want to provide a “take home” piece for later reference? Storify is a great tool for that

How about a virtual breakout session using the YouTube video of the presentation in a Google+ Hangout?

OK, you get the picture. Sure, these options might not be perfect, but they have a lot of potential. They just need someone willing – and creative – enough to give them a try. Someone…like Jack White.


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