Third Educational Presentation — Some Things Gardenspot Has Learned

A few week ago we heard from CEO Steve Lindsey of Gardenspot Village about the innovation process and how to create a culture that values and focuses upon innovation.  It was a powerful and highly stimulating presentation, made all the more relevant in its urging of activism by last weeks events.  I have partially caught some of his thoughts, but I urge all to listen to the video.

Do not do what everyone else is doing.  Do what no one is doing.

Everythng is changing.  He compared the photos of the Papal announcements of the last two Popes.  In the newer one, everyone effectively has a computer in his hand.

A Model for thinking about the health center.  Not like a hospital, but like a home.  Clusters of rooms with the focus being the kitchen, not the nursing station.  Breakfast when you want it, and what you want.  Do what you want with your time on your schedule.  Put people back in charge of their own lives.

“Think inside the box, be aware of constraints.  Innovation is where where passion meets constraints. Those constraints can be regulatory, financial, cultural, etc.  Use the constraints as your pivot to vision, mot to limit but to be realistic.

More varied inter-generational activity.  The usual inter-generational idea is a preschool.  But Gardenspot had a constraint.  There was already a great preschool.  Instead they build a kid-grandparent camp, to which kids come and stay with their relatives for a week.  The staff volunteer to help.  The project has no budget, yet builds connections between adults and grandchildren that empower all

Beyond Monochromatic.  The challenge is how to connect with other cultures. Through the Mennonite Central Committee, Garden spot created an international internship program in which your people come from all over the world for a year to work .

Think Big – Act small.  Its important to know that it is OK to fail, so do things in fail-able ways – i.e. that you can recover and take a new approach, rather than get seriously damaged.

Curate to create.  Gardenspot encourages everyone, whenever they see anything that impresses or inspires them to take and share a quick photo.  Their public space is inspired by a hotel lobby designed to serve as a community center — not just for the retirement group, but for the county community as a whole.  Being welcome to outsiders is transformative.  (We could use the website or the discussion list to do this.)

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”  Picasso.

Local is the New Organic.  Gardenspot has their own hdyophonic greenhouse, inspired by one in Zambia,  and by EPCOT.

We are in Post demographic society. Peoples’ preferences are no longer driven by their demographics.  People want huge variety in dining, and not only in food, but also in environments.  In dining, people also want booths, private conversation capacity, and a community table that becomes the center of the party.

A Culture of Innovation.  Every community has a culture. We need Culture of Innovation. One that is flexible, takes risks, is tolerant of failure, and always awake to possibility.

 Favorite Photo.  A 101 year old Mennonite resident banging in nails to help build a pre-made home that can be moved in components to disaster areas.

Activism driven by vision and purpose. At our age, others do the chores, we have purpose.  They are engaged in local and statewide politics, have person on the Governor’s Council on Ageing, a part of the watershed restoration group, and so on.  Let teams develop organically from residents own interests and drive.

Need a process to develop ideas and innovations.  This needs to be fluid.  There is a director’s conversation opportunity every other week to which everyone can come to get answers to questions and make suggestions.