Let’s Have Conflict

If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything

Alexander Hamilton

We can go along with whatever’s there. We can choose to not setup boundaries and make whatever’s easiest happen… But this is the opposite of a job of a curator. A curator is a trusted filter. The more limits a curator has (and the more consistent those limits are), the more trusted they become.

When we build a fence to protect our audiences and protect our brand (quality curator / creative organizer / fun maker), people will run into that fence. We will have conflict.

It’s Not Me, it’s the Fence

By letting people know up front that performers in Scot Nery’s Boobietrap were booked based on short acts (not by general quality of the performer), and there’s always a place in the show for the best in the world, it reduced the number of people who ran into the fence, but I still have people who ask for spots that aren’t right.

Whether they’re “really funny,” volunteering to help, friends with someone in the show, giving someone in the show a ride, whatever… I might sympathize with them, but I will not book them. I will not book the squeaky wheel. These rules are not my rules. They’re the rules of Scot Nery’s Boobietrap. In casting, I’m doing my best to do the job for Scot Nery’s Boobietrap.

When I feel bad for sending a rejection, I try to remember it’s not me, it’s the fence.

Curating is curating

Same goes for curating decor, content, ideas, whatever. We’re a filter in many ways as individuals and team members. When we’re on a team and people are giving thoughts about the next step of the team; if the idea doesn’t work for the team’s missions, we must celebrate the conflict instead of backing down.

Not all conflict

Some people get too into the conflict and want to establish a million rules, strategize how to run into conflict, or just conflict with everything that comes in. These can all be weaknesses and take a lot of energy away from the goal of creative, beneficial curation. We gotta pick our battles and set up our fences in crucial components, make those fences visible so many people don’t run into them, and make them strong.

Too many rules, too much rejection, too much rigidity is demotivating.

Positive signaling

Positivity is motivating. We can tell people about our fences in positive terms. “We’re creating a team building exercise that celebrate’s our company’s smallness” connects with collaborators and gives them an aspiration instead of “We don’t want stuff made for big corporations”

Please don’t avoid conflict

Written for folks who want to attract and energize groups

Scot Nery is an emcee who has helped some of the biggest companies in the world achieve entertainment success. He's on an infinite misson to figure out what draws people in and engages them with powerful moments.

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