Philippine Daily Inquirer


- @In­quir­erBIZ By Josiah Go Arts · Spain · UNESCO · Junior Chamber International · Manila · Barcelona

I asked 50 award-win­ning mar­ket­ing rock stars, most of whom are Man­smith Young Mar­ket Masters Awardees, about what they do to im­prove their cre­ative think­ing as well as sense mak­ing skills.

Travel was one of the top an­swers.

Trav­el­ing to an­other city or coun­try al­lows one to see new things, de­velop new per­spec­tives, be open to new pos­si­bil­i­ties.

It also comes with an added bonus of rest and re­cre­ation, for new ideas to come out faster.

Take our re­cent fam­ily va­ca­tion to Spain.

In Barcelona, seven of the works of Spain’s most cel­e­brated ar­chi­tect, An­toni Gaudi, were de­clared World Her­itage Sites by Unesco.

Our fam­ily vis­ited five of these sites and we learned valu­able lessons.

In Casa Mila, also known as Le Pe­dr­era, Gaudi con­verted chim­neys and ex­hausts into works of art, ex­tend­ing de­sign and func­tion to the rooftop of the build­ing.

In­ter­est­ingly, things were not rosy for Gaudi in the be­gin­ning; he was ridiculed, and thought of as a mad­man, with the home­own­ers near Le Pe­dr­era even ‘un­friend­ing’ the prop­erty owner, fear­ing that the value of the prop­erty in the area will de­te­ri­o­rate be­cause of the un­con­ven­tional de­sign.

But Gaudi for­tu­nately per­se­vered and con­tin­ues to in­spire not just ar­chi­tects, but peo­ple from all walks of life.

The same travel itin­er­ary gives trav­el­ers dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and mem­o­ries.

I asked mem­bers of my fam­ily what they learned from this part of our travel and their dif­fer­ing ob­ser­va­tions was in­ter­est­ing.

My blog­ger daugh­ter Tricia Gos­ing­tian thought that Gaudi was ahead of his time.

He chal­lenged the tra­di­tional look of Gothic churches, and de­signed Sagrada Fa­milia in a style that is dis­tinct and organic. Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from na­ture, the idea that he may not get to see his work fin­ished did not dis­cour­age him. Af­ter all, the world’s great­est wonders took mil­lions of years to form. It pushed him harder to cre­ate some­thing big­ger than him­self.

My artist son Juju liked Gaudi’s ap­pli­ca­tion of learn­ings from na­ture to ar­chi­tec­ture, and from build­ing to roof ar­chi­tec­ture, both white spa­ces then.

He also liked Gaudi’s to­tal so­lu­tion of not just de­sign­ing homes, but also the cus­tom­ized fur­ni­ture that goes with the ar­chi­tec­ture.

My youngest son, busi­ness­man Calel, saw the im­por­tance of hav­ing a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, that of an artist, and not just from the science of ar­chi­tec­ture.

A for­mer di­rec­tor of Ju­nior Cham­ber In­ter­na­tional in Manila, he re­mem­bered that Gaudi’s first break as a young ar­chi­tect cre­at­ing Casa Vi­cens was given by his friend Manuel Vi­censi Mon­taner, cit­ing the im­por­tance of net­work­ing.

My el­dest son, soft­ware de­vel­oper Chase, re­mem­bered the im­pact of pre­cise mea­sure­ment.

Gaudi used ge­om­e­try as the foun­da­tion of his work.

Chase also learned that Gaudi used stained glass cre­atively in Casa Bat­tlo.

My son-in-law, brand ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive RG Gabunada, saw the spirit of work out­liv­ing the work it­self.

He learned about not mak­ing an ob­ject, like a house, for the sake of mak­ing an ob­ject, but to use the work as a sym­bol.

The Sagrada Fa­milia is a prime ex­am­ple of in­fus­ing struc­tures with mean­ing and sym­bol­ism.

My an­thro­pol­o­gist wife Chiqui saw the fu­sion of many dis­ci­plines in Gaudi’s work—art, ar­chi­tec­ture, math, na­ture and re­li­gion—all merging in con­stant play in Gaudi’s imag­i­na­tion, where learn­ing across in­dus­tries or dis­ci­plines pro­duces syn­ergy and in­no­va­tion. Here, prior work be­came a step­ping stone for big­ger work, in break­ing new bound­aries, and all lead­ing to his mas­ter­piece, the Sagrada de Fa­milia as a trib­ute to his God.

Be­ing cre­ative by be­ing able to con­nect the dots re­quires that there are enough dots in one’s bas­ket, hence, devel­op­ing a di­ver­si­fied reper­toire of new ex­pe­ri­ences can en­hance one’s per­spec­tives.

When one wants to be in­no­va­tive, think­ing and sense mak­ing can be ac­ti­vated.

In­di­vid­ual sense mak­ing hap­pens when peo­ple make sense of what they have seen, ex­pe­ri­enced or known, with per­sonal back­grounds in­flu­enc­ing what they fo­cus on.

This makes so­cial sense mak­ing, where views are shared with oth­ers, more su­pe­rior than in­di­vid­ual sense mak­ing, since what is missed by one can be picked up by an­other, us­ing a sim­ple process of ask­ing ques­tions, ac­tive lis­ten­ing, see­ing pat­terns and un­der­stand­ing mean­ings. Josiah Go is chair­man of mar­ket­ing train­ing firm Man­smith and Field­ers Inc. To fol­low his in­ter­view with thoughtlea­d­ers, visit www.josi­

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