2020 Year in Review

One statement that appears in every 2020 Year in Review post is that this was a year like no other. Twelve months ago, nobody could have imagined the rollercoaster this year would be and still is. It gave the phrase that I like so much, “expect the unexpected,” an epic twist that literally affected each and every person on earth in one way or the other. It might be tempting to skip reflecting on this year, our goals, and where we stand because many of us feel we didn’t have much control over what has happened. I believe this undeniable fact just makes the retrospective this year more relevant than ever. Extreme conditions and radical changes in so many aspects of our lives can shed new light on how we operate and what is most important. And this is true for individuals and organizations alike.

I would like to use this opportunity to reflect on how seempli has evolved in the past year. It is an opportunity to recap the new developments, features, and content we introduced this year. But this is also an excellent opportunity for me to explore the delicate balance between setting concrete goals and defining an overall direction, between having a plan and continually adapting it, sometimes to the extent of tearing it apart. In retrospect, it is clear to me today more than ever before that when done right, what might seem to an outsider like random and hectic maneuvers, could be a beautiful, and more important, effective dance.

So, here’s where we are at the end of 2020, spiced up with some insights on how we got there.

Creativity Packs

Around March, when we got used to a new reality, and the word lockdown was added to our vocabulary, I launched a mini-online workshop for individuals and families intending to help people have some creative fun time at home. I wanted people to realize their home can easily become a creative playground and that they can use it to create, connect, and play. While all the games we played in these workshops were based on the seempli Platform, it was evident that curating a closed set of activities, and providing some guidance and context for the players, has great value.

I had so much fun leading these workshops, but it was time-consuming and was not something I planned to do for a long time. At the same time, I didn’t want to just waive the value I saw in this mini-guided-game format. And so, I took the workshop’s lineup and turned it into later became the first Creativity Pack.

All Creativity Packs are based on games and activities from the seempli Platform. Each pack is a themed curated collection of ten such games you can play alone or with your family, friends, and colleagues. Since April, I am adding at least one new Creativity Pack every month.

When I look back on this unplanned addition to seempli, it seems like a natural part of the platform. In retrospect, I recalled that creating such themed sets of games was one of the first ideas I had for seempli back in the concept phase. Since then, I neglected the idea, and I was focused on enhancing the platform to be used as an infinite Creativity gym. But this unexpected detour I took during lockdown made the value of such guided sets of games apparent.

The seempli Playbook

Around June, in parallel to migrating our entire Workshop offering to support a fully remote mode (which I will mention again soon), I decided to revamp seempli as a toolbox. From day one, seempli was designed as a creativity multi-trainer you could use to boost your creative skills. But applying the same concepts and building blocks to different real-world scenarios that called for Creativity was not in the front of the Platform (although these scenarios were supported).

With the introduction of the seempli Playbook, it is now easier to find and apply creative plays for goals such as Ideation, Empowering Your Team, Storytelling, Being Present, and of course, Mastering Creativity. All Plays are designed such that anyone can use them without any prior knowledge. All you have to do is pick a Play and a playset (generated on the Play’s page) and have fun while achieving your goals.

This enhancement was not entirely unplanned. One of my goals for 2020 was to massively enhance the platform with content that provides value. However, the specific idea for the Playbook was not planned. It was a direct result of the interactions with people during and after workshops. What started as questions turned into short discussions and then into an opportunity to enhance the usability of the platform and provide better value.

In the upcoming year, the seempli Playbook will continue to evolve to include more goals, and obviously, many more Plays.

creomondi and New Underlying Design

Since its launch, seempli was designed around two primary types of building blocks: Seeds and Prisms. Each seempli Prism defined a mini creativity game using Seeds and different setups, constraints, or instructions. With time, the concept of Prisms evolved, and they were divided internally into different types, which enabled us to create more elaborate games.

Soon after introducing the seempli Playbook, I had a chance to rethink the essence of Prisms. This thought process resulted in the realization that by making the core building blocks more generic so they could be connected seamlessly to each other, we could create billions of playsets (as opposed to approximately one million combinations of Prisms and Seeds). And this is how creomondi was born.

creomondi is not only the new core of the seempli Platform. It is the ultimate Creativity multi-trainer. It’s an infinite Creativity game you can play to practice your creative skills (or just for fun) anywhere, anytime. And it’s open for all with one playset a day.

Fully Remote Workshops and the New Enabler Zone

With lockdowns and more organizations moving, at least temporarily, to a remote work mode, it was only natural that the seempli Workshop would evolve accordingly. I have to admit that the transformation was not dramatic from our end. I always knew the seempli activities could be easily adapted to a remote setup, and some of them, like the Guided Creativity Game, were designed for remote mode from day one.

This was a great lesson in turning a constraint into an opportunity. Since June, the entire workshop catalog is remote-enabled, and teams from Europe, India, and of course Israel, our home base, are enjoying the seempli Workshops no matter where they work from.

While I personally miss the energy of being in one room with a group playing our Creativity games, the remote workshops are here to stay even when the COVID situation will be behind us. Each mode has its own unique advantages, but the concept of remote workshops is fully aligned with my vision: to inspire people worldwide to realize their creative potential.

To reach and inspire even more people, I took this opportunity to revamp the seempli Pro Enabler Plan. The new Enabler Zone enables facilitators to use the seempli Platform to spice-up their workshops and facilitation sessions with Creativity-powered games for any goal and setup.

The Creativity Operating System

The Creativity Operating System is the underlying model on which seempli is based. It is (or will be) also a book, which is something I still feel strange to say. And yet, when I started to work on it a year and a half ago, I felt an urge to explain, first to myself and then to other, why Creativity development, and seempli in particular, works. It’s not enough to say we are all born creatives. It is not enough to say we are not utilizing our creative potential. The fact that the vast majority of humanity can do much more with their creative skills calls for an explanation (let alone introspection).

The Creativity Operating System is a work in progress, which I hope I will manage to complete in the upcoming year. But just like many other parts of seempli, I felt I had to share it with you as it evolves. As a book, it is still far from being perfect. As a model spiced up with research, examples, and case studies, it has a unique value. You can use seempli without reading it, of course. But if you wish to know better what creative muscles you should work on to create a setup that enables and promotes Creativity, The Creativity OS is a great guide, if I may say so.

So, it has been quite a year. Most of the things I’ve listed above were not planned a year ago, but each of them, in their own unique way, is a step toward realizing my vision. I can only hope that 2021 would be calmer and safer, but not a bit less surprising and challenging from a professional perspective.

Stay safe. Be creative.

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