The days are getting shorter the nights cooler—which can only mean one thing. It’s back to school time. Even though it’s been over 30 years since I set foot in “my old school,” the seasonal change awakens an almost primal instinct in me. Time to wash off all the chlorine and brush off the beach sand and put away the lawn chairs. The party’s over, and it’s time to get serious.
Most people spend the first of each year making lists, resolutions, plans, wishes, promises. Not me. When the cool air rushes in each evening and the covers get pulled up high, that’s when I know it’s my time to reevaluate, reassess and repurpose my life. I get a rush of energy and feel as if my hypersensitive nerves are on top of my skin, constantly zapped with inspiration at every motion. The changes in temperature, colors and smells trigger the urge in me to start a brand-new routine, and somehow, it happens every year. I become that sponge again, that kid in the classroom, a little scared but rarin’ to soak it all up.
My insatiable appetite for knowledge has inspired me to try a few things at the office. I’m organizing an “Innovation Speaker Series” where well-known authors and speakers will be invited to present on various topics—branding, marketing, ideation, inspiration and package design. Not only would they present to our department but to the brand teams as well. One of my goals is to bridge the gap that exists between design and marketing by exposing them to “experts” in the field who will ultimately serve us all very well.
I find sharing is an essential ingredient that helps build camaradarie with my teammates, and I will be relaunching my “lunch and a movie” sessions where our department periodically breaks bread and I share some of the stuff that gets me juiced—TED Talks, commercials, movies, short animations, music videos and anything else I find inspiring. There’s nothing better than turning people on to cool stuff!
And let’s not forget about books! It’s that time again to stock our department library with books and periodicals on art, design, business, innovation and packaging—all chock full of ideas and images that fuel our minds and nourish our souls.
So as the mercury continues to fall and my curiosity rises, I’ll be reading, listening and writing more than ever—as part student, part teacher—voraciously absorbing all that I can hold. I’m ready to get back on the bus. I just have to remember to bring my lunch money.
Glenn John Arnowitz is Director of Global Creative Services for Pfizer and co-founder of InSource. He is a designer, musician, composer, writer, actor and speaker, always looking for new ways to scratch that insatiable creative itch.