Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: Creativity Tips from 12-Year-Old Metalheads

By / Nov 14, 2013 Unlocking the Truth members Jarad Dawkins (left) and Malcolm Brickhouse. (Handout photo)

What Unlocking the Truth, a heavy-metal band made up of 12-year-olds, can teach you about your own creative process. Also: Your onboarding approach could make all the difference.

Enough with the straight lines—zig and zag a little! And don’t be afraid to pull out the devil horns every now and then.

A few tips from a trio of ambitious 12-year-olds, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Let your creativity rock out: There’s an inherent novelty to seeing a group of 12-year-old middle-schoolers play the kind of hard-hitting metal that many associate with legendary bands like Metallica or Anthrax. (If you’re wondering why they’re not singing, give ’em a couple years—their voices have yet to break. They’ve already written lyrics for when that time comes.) But there’s something important to learn here about the creativity that Unlocking the Truth clearly has, according to Fast Company, including the ability to split up duties into effective roles and a willingness to step back and walk away from the guitar for a few hours: “If I get stuck and can’t think of anything, I just take a break and skateboard, because that’s the other thing I love to do,” guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse told the magazine. “Then I come back to it. I might come up with a riff, I might not. And if I’m having trouble, our drummer Jarad [Dawkins] plays guitar too, so he can help me.” The most creative people are often the ones who follow a completely unexpected path, so there’s a lot to learn from this trio.

Pull out the welcome wagon: Trying to onboard a new member? Think hard about your approach, because it could set the tone for their membership as a whole. That’s what Spark Consulting’s Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE, says in a guest post for Wild Apricot. Among her tips: Take a slow approach, speak up about the benefits you offer, and stay in touch. That last part is important. “You’re trying to develop a relationship here, one that you want to last over the long term,” she writes. “You don’t do that by ignoring the other party for a year (or, worse, bombarding her with marketing messages), and then asking her for more money. You need to stay in touch on a personal and nonfinancial basis throughout the year. Ask her how things are going.”

Snapchat’s big surprise: If you were keeping an eye on the business wires yesterday, you may have caught an intriguing scoop from the Wall Street Journal: a report (using anonymous sources) that the booming messaging service Snapchat had actually turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook. Obviously, if a social network you’ve been ignoring is drawing that kind of attention, it’s worth giving it a fresh look, something BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones offers in spades in an interview with 23-year-old founder Evan Spiegel. Spiegel’s insights on technology are interesting, but his ideas for monetization are even more so—apparently, he believes he can persuade people to pay for aspects of their social networking. We’ll see if that’s the case, but definitely give the interview a read for some insights on a network that could be worth knowing a thing or two about in the months ahead.

What’s on your radar today? Tell us about it in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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