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Monday, October 3, 2022

How Ideas Evoke Wonder and Agency

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How Ideas Evoke Wonder and Agency | Vince Kadlubek | Vince Kadlubek | 393

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Learning thought leadership from the arts.

An interview with Vince Kadlubek about choice, creative freedom, and dreaming big.


Thought leadership is all about unconventional ideas. But unconventional ideas can be intimidating. How does a thought leadership practitioner stir curiosity, draw in an audience, and make potential clients want to engage? Does giving the client agency draw them in or push them away?

In seeking answers, I’ve turned to an unconventional guest, Vince Kadlubek. Vince is the founder and director of Meow Wolf, an art studio creating massive, world-class experiences that weave art, space, and narrative into one inspirational adventure.

To start things off, Vince explains Meow Wolf’s purpose and design, and talks about the three major Meow Wolf experience spaces. These huge art installations provide an environment to explore the unknown, something
essential to an authentic, visceral experience. That’s the kind of place, Vince says, where real transformation happens. Bringing these massive events to life takes many iterations of prototyping, and many artisans working towards a unified vision. Vince explains how Meow Wolf creates the theme, seeks artists, and builds both teamwork and autonomy, creating a collaborative effort built on trust.

This episode takes many concepts and ideas used in the arts, and shows how they can be applied to thought leadership advancements in any industry, to make dreams come true.

Three Key Takeaways:

  • Thought Leadership needs to marry art and adventure, leading their audience into the unknown – where transformation happens.
  • True collaboration means each side provides 50% of the work toward a result; it’s the merging of both that creates something richer and more meaningful.
  • Prompt your audience to participate in your thought leadership instead of simply being a spectator.

Join the Organizational Thought Leadership Newsletter to learn more about expanding thought leadership within your organization! This monthly newsletter is full of practical information, advice, and ideas to help you reach your organization’s thought leadership goals.

And if you need help scaling organizational thought leadership, contact Thought Leadership Leverage!



Transcript

Bill Sherman What can the arts teach thought leadership practitioners and how do you take an unconventional idea to scale? Today I talk with Vince Kadlubeck, co-founder and director of Meow Wolf and also the founder of Spatial Attractions. If you’ve been to any of male Wolf’s three locations, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Denver, then you’re probably already excited for this conversation. But for the rest of you. Meow Wolf is creating world class, immersive art experiences that weave art, space and narrative together. I’ll ask Vince to explain male wolf here in a moment. And we’re going to be talking about the concepts of agency and choice, both for artists co-creating spaces, as well as people visiting and experiencing the spaces. I’m eager to ask Vince about how we can spark curiosity and interest in our ideas. We’ll talk about creating space for people to find meaning. And we’ll talk about evoking surprise, delight and wonder through our ideas. I’m Bill Sherman and you’re listening to Leveraging Thought Leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Vince.

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah, thanks for having me. Good to be here.

Bill Sherman So I’m excited to talk to you about the ability of taking an idea into the physical space, making it real, and creating responses with the people. And my first question is one on behalf of the audience. What is Meow Wolf and what is a Meow Wolf space for someone who’s never been inside of one?

Vince Kadlubeck Meow Wolf is an arts production company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we produce large scale, immersive multimedia storytelling experiences. Basically, it’s like walking inside of a dream inside of a large space. Lots of exploration, lots of discovery. All based around immersive art and multimedia art. And so it’s very colorful. There’s a lot of play elements, like playground elements through it. It’s interactive and it’s all based on the agency and the choices of the individual that’s going through it.

Bill Sherman And for those of you who haven’t been, there’s a sense of discovery as well. So let’s start about with the original location in Santa Fe. The House of Eternal Return. Describe the experience of the House to begin with and then sort of how it sort of invites you into a larger world.

Vince Kadlubeck Sure, yeah. You walk into Meow Wolf and it’s like a lobby and a bar and a gift shop. And, you know, it’s a fun artistic vibe already when you walk in, buy your ticket, walk down kind of a dark hallway similar to how you would at a movie theater or something. You open the door at the end and then you end up walking inside of the exhibition, The House of Eternal Return Exhibition. And your first space is the front yard of a Victorian house, and it’s nighttime and you’re standing on the lawn of the front yard and there’s, you know, sounds of crickets and animals. And there’s also a soundtrack, a musical soundtrack, sort of playing with nice piano playing. So you’re sort of immediately placed inside of a narrative experience, and you’re staring up at this Victorian house right in front of you. It’s two stories fully realized Victorian house. You walk inside the house and there’s a family that lives there and so you explore their house and their rooms and their living room. You can flip through their photo albums and watch their home movies and you can go through the drawers in their bedroom. And it’s a fully realized home. The family, though, is they’re not present. The family has disappeared. And you start to see that there’s some wonky things with the house later. Some like something has happened here that’s just not quite right. And you might get to the to the kitchen of the house and you open the refrigerator. And instead of there being food in the refrigerator, there’s the fridge leads to like a long, brightly lit hallway that you can enter. And you can choose to go through the fridge if you want, or you can walk over to the dryer, and you could open the dryer. And you see that there’s like this tube slide connected to the dryer that takes you to who knows where. And that’s really the most kind of transformative moment for people is when they discover these portals from the house, and they have to choose to go through them and who knows where they lead to. And then once you do go through them, you then enter a massive space of twisted, psychedelic, beautiful fantasy land, dreamland style, immersive art that has like treehouses and a really weird layout to it, like a maze and a bunch of different rooms and interactive instruments and characters roaming around. And that’s when the experience really kind of breaks the barrier of normalcy and enters into, into the unknown. And it’s all choice based. It’s all based on. Presenting an environment of the unknown that’s created through art and then allowing for people to explore in that space. And then through that exploration, they end up discovering all sorts of things depending on what they want to discover, depending on what’s interesting to them. And it’s that moment of exploration and discovery that really strikes at like the kid in all of us. That feeling of being a kid.

Bill Sherman So one of the things that I love is you talk about a fully staged and realized two story Victorian home really as the entry way to another massive space. Right. And so people may walk into the space to begin with and go, Oh, this is the exhibit. I get to experience someone’s life. But really, that’s just the front door. And you talk about portals, if you will, whether through the refrigerator or the dryer as a liminal space. But it invites choice. And one of the things that I want to ask you about is how choice evokes both experience and transformation.

Vince Kadlubeck So an environment of the unknown is really important when it comes to having a visceral, authentic. Experience and personalized experience. And one that feels like it’s yours. You need to be in an environment of the unknown in order to have that. And the reason I say that is because if you know it, if it’s already known, if lots of other people know it, or if you’re handed a map or a guide or if you’re given directions, then you’re not the one who’s moving through the space. You’re kind of doing it based on other people’s other people’s parameters or a share or shared parameters with others. If you’re entering into a space that’s totally unknown, then it’s just you and your experience, and that’s it. And so it creates an experience that is much more visceral, much more connected. And similarly, the transformational process for people when going through an experience entering into the unknown experience based on your own choice, is where any transformational moment happens for people. You can even think about like. Self-help programs or even alcoholic, you know, Alcoholics Anonymous or something. It’s like the person choosing to go into a transformational experience. That choice is critical to them actually having the transformational experience. And somebody else tells you to go do it or somebody else gives you the blueprint of how to do it, then it doesn’t strike at the core of who you are. And transformation happens at the core of who you are, happens in your identity. And so by providing a space of the unknown for people to venture into, somebody is actually stepping not only into the unknown of that physical environment, but they’re stepping into the unknown of who they are. And that’s what the transformational moment that is. It’s stepping beyond the paradigm of known identity and stepping into a paradigm of unknown identity.

Bill Sherman Now, I’m assuming that you’ve had the joy of watching people as they’ve gone through the space. And I know you’ve talked about some of those transformations. How do people respond when they go.

Vince Kadlubeck In their mind? We say minds, their minds are blown. I mean, Meow Wolf was a mind-blowing experience for them. You know, you with regards to the fridge, like I say this a lot like. At that fridge moment where you walk through the fridge, you kind of realize that if the fridge is more than what the fridge is supposed to be, that maybe the world can be more than what the world is supposed to be. And then maybe I can be more than what I’m supposed to be. And so there’s this, like, freedom that opens up for people when they’re given the agency, when they’re given the opportunity to be anything that they want. And because within a Meow Wolf, it doesn’t really matter like who you have been. Like, it doesn’t matter who you voted for. It doesn’t matter like what kind of dramas you’re bringing in. Because in the middle of world, none of those things really are relevant. And so you get to kind of like leave those things outside of the door and you get to venture through like a new and you start to realize that like, you aren’t who you have been, that you are the person who’s moving forward in life. You are the person that you’re becoming, not the person that you have been. And that is like a radical shift for people to get out of the brain space of memorization and to get out of the brain space that’s obsessed with the past and to move into a space that has unlimited possibilities.

Bill Sherman Well. And this is the place where I see such a crossover between the creative and immersive art experience from Meow Wolf into thought leadership. Part of it is the ability to see around the corner into a possible future and whether it’s a risk, an opportunity. Like you said, hey, if reality isn’t what I thought in this Victorian rules-constructed space of the home, well, what did I bring in as well? And so thought leadership allows people to question their assumptions and see something new. And I think that’s what’s happening with now, Wolf. Now, let’s go behind the scenes instead of focusing on the experience of the visitor. Let’s talk about the creation of the space. Right. Because I don’t think you would have started from a blank canvas and said, hey, we’ve got this all laid out. Here’s our blueprint. Tomorrow, land goes here. Right.

Vince Kadlubeck Exactly. Yeah, for sure. And that because like the same fundamentals that I’m talking about here, where the unknown is really important and the exploration of the unknown and the discoveries that happen within it that can’t that’s not just for the visitor. That’s also for the people who create it. If you script it out and you design it out and you say exactly where everything’s going to be and then make it, it’s already known. And so, so, so it’s really important, like in our process to identify parameters, a framework of, of knowingness, of of integrity, of things that we need to know, the things that we need to know. How big is this room? What are the code? What’s the code issues? Where does this where does the electrical go? You know, what’s the flow of the layout? We need to know those things. But within the context, within this framework of the known, we have to leave a lot of space for discovery. And it’s scary. It’s like a scary it’s really great for artists. It’s really great for the creative, but it’s really scary for the businessperson that’s financing the project, right?

Bill Sherman Because you don’t know what the budget is. You don’t know any of those details, and you’re like, Yeah, I go think about this and see what could we do with this, right?

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah. And so that’s the balance, you know, and I think if you were if it was all unknown, then it wouldn’t exist or it wouldn’t be very well. It wouldn’t articulate itself into physical reality very effectively if it’s all known. It also probably won’t articulate itself very well into physical reality. And so there’s a balance between these two things. We call it the balance between chaos and order or black and white or on or off or, you know, it’s the duality that we sort of exist within that we’re playing with here, that that allows for ideas, for the imagination to enter into reality.

Bill Sherman So with that, the ability to work within today’s parameters as well as to look into the future. How do you then start taking that to scale? Because someone could have looked at the House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe and go, okay, this is a unique one-off experience. It will never be recreated. It can only be in Santa Fe and you’ve got to go to Santa Fe to experience it. But that’s not true because now, yeah, we’ll see in three cities, it’s in Las Vegas, it’s in Denver. And those have different immersive stories. So how did you make that jump from just Santa Fe but positioning in other locations?

Vince Kadlubeck I mean, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of details to that and that scaling that story of scaling that happen around financing the projects, getting investors on board. But I would say that like fundamentally the process that we went through to scale was very similar to the process that we went through to get the House of Return open to begin with, which is, you know, put very simply, it’s allowing for the imagination to construct a vision of the future that is not compromised by. By resources or by capacity. Oftentimes what happens for people is that they will go into an imaginative, imaginative space to envision what the future might be. But they stopped themselves from fully envisioning it because they start to worry about where’s the money going to come from and who’s going to build it and is it going to work? And they basically stop themselves from actually fully envisioning it. And what we.

Bill Sherman So they start pulling in reality and constraints before they explore.

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah, it’s like they’re trying to construct a new paradigm for themselves, but then they let the existing paradigm stop itself from constructing the new paradigm. And, and, and what I’ve, what I was really honed in on was that you you fully, you fully envision, fully imagined what the new paradigm is. And then once you do that, then you go out and worry about where the money’s going to come from. And then once the money comes in, then you worry about who’s going to deliver the project or who’s going to create that new paradigm. It’s like one step at a time with that. And we did that. We basically said, What does it look like for the company for us to be in multiple cities? What do those projects look like? And we sketched it all out. We drew it up. We conceptualized it. We put numbers to it. You know, numbers are an important part of the envisaging process. You know, having an understanding of the numbers is not it’s critical to the envisioning process. And then once we had all that figured out, we went out and raised the money to then deliver the projects. And once we raise the money, we hired like thousands of people to go into the projects. And so it’s really imagination and then belief in that imagination. And then and belief is the same word is love has the same sort of the same etymology is believe in love are pretty much the same word. So you have to have a vision that you can love. And if you love it, then you work on it. So it’s like, imagine, believe, work, and then it delivers, you know? And that’s basically what we did.

Bill Sherman And to double click, if we will. If you walk into Las Vegas or if you walk in to Denver, you don’t find a two story Victorian home as the front of the exhibition, right?

Vince Kadlubeck That’s correct. Yeah. And in in Vegas, it’s a grocery store that you walk into a fully realized grocery store with like hundreds of products on the shelves that you can actually buy. And we actually have to operate that grocery store, which is a pretty which is tricky thing for us. And then in Denver, it’s a transit station. So it’s like walking into a public transit station.

Bill Sherman And so each of those spaces allows you to explore different metaphors of life, human experience, whether it’s the residential home we all shop, we all go into grocery store as well. What we’re not on Amazon or online purchasing, I guess, but you get to play with different spaces and different frameworks and context.

Bill Sherman If you are enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about the podcast, please leave a five star review and share it with your friends. We are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all major platforms as well as at Leveraging Thought Leadership dot com.

Bill Sherman So my question is for you, how do you identify the right people to bring into space? Are you finding local artists in each environment? Are you bringing artists with you space to space? How are you finding your experts who can create what is now becoming a meow wolf experience and that people have an idea almost of a brand at this point?

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah. So we do have a team in Santa Fe, brilliant team. Like I think they’re the most brilliant team in the world that that is that is a full time staffed team that that really comes up with a lot of the early stage themes of the project, the themes of the anchor spaces like the larger spaces within the project, and also some of the key multimedia sculptural components and the stuff that we know we want to build. We know we want to create and come and see come to life. And that’s all kind of handled internally, the overall theme of the project and the creative direction of the project, as well as the creative direction of each individual. Like I would say the larger container spaces, the anchor spaces in the projects. Those are all creatively directed by people who are meow wolf people, internal employees, but from but it’s really important for the creative directors to, like I said, like design space for the, you know, for exploration to happen in and for randomness to happen within. And so with those design spaces was designed empty spaces, blank canvases, we go out to local communities and we do our piece and, you know, we create basically like in Denver, we had like 3000 RFP responses and we had to dwindle it down to 150 people. And so we curate based on, of course, the work itself, but also. We need artists to be capable of delivering their projects as autonomously as possible because there’s just so many projects happening simultaneously in a project like Denver. And so we have to look at how experienced are they? And so and we also looked for diversity. It was really important for us in Denver to have the majority of our artists be women. So you have a large amount of nonwhite artists of color. And so that was a big part of it, too, was wanting to express a diversity of opinions and diversity of esthetics.

Bill Sherman And I think that word that you hit on curate is another crossover point between the artistic sort of creation of the space as well as thought leadership, because there are always so many ideas percolating within an organization. How do you decide where are we going to invest time, energy? You know, where do we put the organization’s resources behind to take it to scale?

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah. I mean, it’s I it’s a funny thing about, you know, about collaboration versus individual vision. And both are both are really critical. Again, it’s like only having a singular vision from a singular individual is not going to result in a very interesting project or interesting company. Having a group dynamic or a group decision making process all the time is also going to not lead to a very it can lead.

Bill Sherman To chaos that nothing happens. Right.

Vince Kadlubeck Or it could lead to like a very watered down, sort of like, you know, mediocre experience. And so we’ve done a good job of going from a singular focus point to then broadening for a lot of input back to a singular focus point, broadening again and kind of going back and forth between the two in order to have a dynamic set of curated assets. But, but that come together in a focused and what’s what seemingly a singular vision sort of way.

Bill Sherman So I want to take you back in time a little bit to the early days, because my guess is you didn’t envision that you would be having, you know, dedicated art, immersive experiences in multiple cities. But let’s look at the early days of Meow Wolf and some of the immersive events in Santa Fe. How did those early prototypes. In form what became the house of eternal return.

Vince Kadlubeck Yes. Before the House of Eternal Return, we were a group of artists and friends, programmers, a physical space for like seven years. And it was really informal. It was like a social club more than anything else. We had warehouses that we would do stuff and we did stuff in public parks and we had no money and no resources. And I think that that’s a critical aspect of this. Like without money, without resources, our most valuable resource was the human capacity was human work, and it was the people around us and human ingenuity. And so what we had to develop early in the early days was a way of communicating and a way of operating because we were all volunteer, no money was being made off of this. We couldn’t pay anybody. And so we had to keep we had we need we needed people to care about their projects. We had people to care about showing up every day.

Bill Sherman How did you make that happen? What did you do to create that care?

Vince Kadlubeck We created space for DIY thinking and for design thinking. You know, we basically allowed for people to explore their concepts, fail with their concepts, knowing like we’re all going to fail in trying to make whatever it is that we’re trying to make. But we created space where that was okay and, and it was through the process of trying to create worlds in your imagination. Where there was. A reward system for people because we knew that we may not be getting paid because this isn’t an actual business yet, but we’re learning a lot and that learning had has a ton of value for, you know, in your life. And so we also had to learn a lot. We had to have a language of collaboration and learn how to say yes to things because know is not a very good way of collaborating. You know.

Bill Sherman It’s just like an improv. It’s yes. And not just no because that kills the scene.

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah, totally. And so. So, yes. And you know, we kind of had a little bit of constitution start to emerge. Yes. And was one of those very important statements. Another one was trust first know. It’s so easy for humans to doubt first. In fact, we doubt first all the time in business and corporations tend to doubt first a lot.

Bill Sherman And so you look at the risk, right? And you say, why should we do that? That’s risky. Let’s do what we’re doing all the time.

Vince Kadlubeck And you ask for resumes and you ask for experience and you kind of test people out first because you’re trying to get them to prove that that they can do what they can do. But back in the day, we didn’t have that, you know, so we had to just say, like, okay, you want to build a, you know, a 30 foot tall giraffe in the front yard of Meow Wolf. Go for it. We trust you. You can do it, you know, basically. And so that so that was an important one. And it was through this language of collaboration, an important piece of collaboration for us was learning that. True collaboration with another person is not 100% of them and 100% of you trying to figure it out that it’s actually like 50% of them and 50% of you kind of coming together to create 100%. So there’s a part of you that has to yield. A large amount of who you are and what you believe in and what you care about. You have to actually just like let a lot of that go to make space for what the other person cares about. And you’re kind of you’re creating 100% of a single entity by giving up part of yourself. And that was a huge part of our learning process early in the early days.

Bill Sherman It also sounds like the 50% that you might bring to a project with one person, you might choose one set of pieces of yourself, then you get to the next person. It’s not the same 50%. You re choose which pieces go into the 50% right that you bring.

Vince Kadlubeck And so and it’s all about communication. It’s and it’s hearing where the other person’s at and then making space for where they’re at. Even if you don’t believe in it, even if you don’t inherently believe in it, it’s like getting yourself to believe in it. Because they do, you know, and it’s compassion and honesty and sympathy.

Bill Sherman And compassion and passion. Two, entirely close, like you were talking about belief and love. Right. You can’t have compassion without passion.

Vince Kadlubeck Right. Absolutely. And that that communication because humans were our you know, our friends were our only resource, really. And so we had to tend to that resource at in this crazy sort of way. And honestly, it’s like it’s been funny because as we’ve grown into a into a business and into a corporation. There’s different language that happens in corporations. You know, there are resumes there. There is a sort of, you kind of have to doubt first and some in some instances. And so bringing the culture and communication of the media with old days and marrying it with our more business language has been like a whole new set of challenges, you know?

Bill Sherman Well, growth and change, right? It’s continuing. So let me ask you this question. Is there a book that sits on your shelf that has influenced you as you’ve gone through your journey and now, Wolf. Is there something that she turned back to and has really shaped how you think? About taking ideas to scale.

Vince Kadlubeck You know, I would say so, to be honest, I don’t really read much, but I would say, like when it comes to stories and you know, for me personally, the story of the story of Walt Disney is definitely very close to me. You know, and the scale of Disneyland when it was created and how much outside of the paradigm, current paradigm it was when it came to the. And how far outside the paradigm of his own company there was to say, we’re going to build this massive park. And then to know that that park is like one of the most iconic things in the world right now. You know that that’s been a big driving force for me. And I’m not like a huge Disney fan. Like these days, you know, like, I’m not like a big like I don’t watch the movies very much. And I think like a lot of the IP is a little a little stale. Right. But what they did back then is like, whoa. Like, that’s the type of, like, paradigm shifting work I want to be a part of in my life.

Bill Sherman They made at that time the invisible things that nobody ever considered or thought. Impossible. Visible, right?

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah, totally. And. And thought about storytelling. I mean, they broke through a whole new medium of storytelling, like multiple times. It was like animation and then television and then in-person location based with Disneyland. And we’ve done the location-based thing. And you know, what I’m excited about in my lifetime, I hope, is to break new paradigms of storytelling, ones that we don’t even know are possible right now. You know, and that’s like where I get the most drive is like the evolution of storytelling and what’s going to come after the video game. What’s the next evolution beyond the video game is what gets me really excited.

Bill Sherman Well, that could lead to a conversation of Metaverse and all the things that are bubbling now. But I want to ask you a question. You looked back and you pointed towards Walt Disney as someone who inspired you and got you to think differently. Think about the folks who are just starting in the space. What advice would you give them now as they’re starting their careers? And another way to think about it is what do you wish he knew when you were just starting out?

Vince Kadlubeck So I think a lot of times this is kind of more of a pragmatic answer, like a pragmatic piece to your question, which, you know, a lot of times we want to we want to build in small phases or we want to do small, little temporary things. I would say dream big that like in this space of immersive arts, immersive attraction, theme park that like dreaming big matters a lot and delivering something that is mind blowing matters a lot. Like. You might think you want to do small things for your entire life, but it’s always going to sort of be a struggle. You have to break this critical mass or like this. You have to reach a new ceiling. I break through a ceiling in order to really have that feeling of like magic and attraction. And so to dream big. And in order to dream big, you really do have to collaborate with many, many, many people. And so if you’re too stuck on your idea. Your singular idea, then it’s never going to be a big enough idea to be able to really bring that wow factor to an audience. But some other things that come to mind for me in that question. Yeah, I think that like. When designing a space, I really think really thinking about cultivating the imagination when you’re doing it, not just delivering your story or delivering, delivering your experience. That’s a very like, I don’t know, oppressive way of thinking about creating something for people is like, I want you to experience my story. I want you to experience my experience. Instead, think about it as like an environment for, for, for their own imagination to be inspired or their imagination to be cultivated. I think far too often in our in our world, the relationship with the audience is a one way relationship. It’s like, here’s a thing we want you to consume over you consume it, you know, rather than, here’s a thing that we want you to experience and we hope that you also contribute and produce with us.

Bill Sherman Well, it’s like giving a child or a cat a box. They’re going to do things with the box that you never considered. Whereas, you know, as adults we often look and go, Oh, I can put X or Y in this box. We don’t see the possibilities totally.

Vince Kadlubeck And that’s and the way the places you can think about that in are like, what? What story are you telling and how are you telling it? And to not be to, you know, to not dominate a person’s experience too much with the story that you’re trying to tell. Also, operationally speaking, don’t try to walk people through their experience for them. Leave it up to them to have the experience that they have, I think is critical. Yeah. You know, and I think also prompting the audience to participate in the work rather than just being observers of the work, try to prompt them into participating with the work or inhabiting it, like allow them space to feel like it’s theirs. Not just that they’re looking at something that is yours.

Bill Sherman It’s the difference between presentation and invitation. In my mind, you’re inviting into a space, you’re inviting co-creation, and you’re celebrating their experience and their choices rather than telling them they’re right or wrong.

Vince Kadlubeck Totally. Yeah, 100%. And you’re going to have people who. Who have a hard time, like there’s going to be those who go through the experience. And because you didn’t tell them what to do and because, you know, you kind of left it open, they’re going to leave saying, I don’t know what that was. I get it. But you have to be okay with that. But that’s the experience they had. You know, I think a lot of times we over operationalize our experiences because we want everybody to have, have, have a good experience, you know. But it really caps the level of experience that people can have. You sort of it gravitates to the mean when you do that.

Bill Sherman Whereas by leaving it for people to discover you wind up having more people who they drop a lot of the constructs and the pretenses and I’m. I think it’s fair to say you get a lot of people who turn into five-year-olds screaming around and just in the light. Yeah. Exploring the space.

Vince Kadlubeck Yeah. Yeah. And another big thing I’d say of advice out there to those who are kind of in this immersive design space is realize that the value of any space is your own creativity and your own ability to design things for others. It’s not in the IP. So I would actually encourage a lot of people out there in the world of design, build an immersive design, build to use considered, not doing the experience of marketing activation for that big brand that just offered you, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars. Instead, like designing your own thing, you know, or, or maybe don’t consider, you know, maybe, maybe refuse the next big project from Disney or Universal and instead design your own thing because it’s not the Star Wars IP, it’s not the Avengers IP, it’s not the Panasonic activation, where the value is at the values, in the artwork, in the creative design and the experience you can bring. And with that, I just think that there’s going to be a lot more interesting content out in the world and a lot more content that is truly an artistic expression rather than just a brand play.

Bill Sherman There’s a lot more that we could talk about, but I think that’s a great place to leave the conversation on. Vince, thank you for joining us today. And if someone wants to learn more about me, I will. Where do they go?

Vince Kadlubeck You can go to Meow Wolf dot com. Also you can look at stuff on TikTok, we’ve got a lot of really good videos there. YouTube. But definitely the best way to learn about Meow Wolf is, come to Santa Fe, come to Vegas, come to Denver, check it out in person. It’s really hard to describe otherwise. So experiencing it firsthand is the best way to get to – get to know us.

Bill Sherman Fantastic. Thank you. If you’re interested in organizational thought leadership, then I invite you to subscribe to the OrgTL newsletter. Each month we talk about the people who create, curate and deploy thought leadership on behalf of their organizations. Go to the website. OrgTL.com and choose. Join our newsletter. I’ll leave a link to the website as well as my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.



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