Posts Tagged ‘Urban Renewal’



February 20, 2014

Brace yourself! We’ve had the invigorating respite now that reminded us Minnesota is not just snow, ice and the devastating north winds. And just in case we were outdoors too much and smiled too much over the last 48 hours, the misery is returning.

Personally I am not sure two days was a sufficient recovery time but we have no choice in the matter. Here we go again into Round Two and as I remember well, March and early April are often the real tests of our resilience.

And today is no exception….ISES at 11:15; the Guthrie by 12 noon for the East Downtown Business Forum and a client subcommittee meeting I wanted to at least call in for that also conflicts in time. I don’t know if I will be glad I am walking/running thru the streets to ensure I fit it all in, or if I will be cursing the decision to get rid of the car!


I, too, remember Lake Minnetonka of the 1950s…home to our summer “church camp” and the magical weeks I spent there every summer through my youth.

I, too, am unimpressed with what “progress” has yielded in the area …and am having a hard time imagining what the new “push” for increased “tourism “ will do. I feel like they are trying to return to their roots; but the “good old days” is not that easy to recreate!


I liked a good bit of the plans for the Nicollet Mile that I saw last night, but someone should tell those folks we already have a Nicollet Island. It is a key point in the native people’s story of Creation and Rebirth so tied to the Mississippi River. And a lot of folks LIVE on that island that I am sure do not want to be thought of as living on 7th and Nicollet!

So although the redesign of the 7th street intersection is great (and helps as best it can for taking away my once-favorite event space in downtown – the surface lot that became Block E) the new gathering area should not be called Nicollet Island!

And even though we are only “8% into the design phase”, why have those local folks working with the design team not pointed this out to them before it was presented to a large audience last night?


The first two things I saw this morning before I even opened the Strib were TWO illustrated presentations.

One covered a topic I’m not even interested in…but I was totally hooked on the METHOD within the first couple seconds, watched the whole thing, and even found myself taking notes!

So one more time, I am convinced we are on the right track with our illustrator approach presented to a recent client. Unfortunately our client is less concerned about retention, proven learning methods, and changed behaviors than they are for the quest for a 1990s “WOW Factor”…long since proven to spike one’s BUDGET, but not retention , engagement nor learning. Of course, at the same time, they are also questioning why 19 general sessions in 4 different spaces with 15 different keynote speakers for 5000 people is going to cost $200,000!

Nevertheless, that did not stop my brain. Just now, it immediately started signaling to me we have missed an important interactive piece in our plans! We should include “doodle boards” for employees themselves to tell us what they thought of the meeting, to gather additional input for client use going forward, and to help measure impact. It would complete the illustration circle and provide meaningful data.

So the truth is, I guess we should not be questioning them, but should be questioning ourselves and why we even thought we would be a good fit for this project! Just proves what you don’t know ahead of time can hurt you! For me, there may be an escape route; but what did I do to the team when I got them involved in this?

Nevertheless, whatever the outcome for all, it is encouraging to see we were not off-base with our creative approach, and I think I can leave this world in June with no regrets. Creative Events had a good run in MSP for 21 years; built upon on a strong foundation laid during those first 23 years in the corporate world. I am just sorry that circumstances beyond my control have led to a messy ending. Nevertheless, I am done here and my brain has indeed moved on to start noodling (and doodling) about how I mold that third career of the future!