Movie producer Brian Grazer, along with coauthor Charles Fishman have written a book called a “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life.” While I am still reading the book, the coverage I’ve read and the author interviews I’ve seen continually reinforce in my mind how closely Grazer’s philosophy and practice align with what we as conference organizers (and Dent attendees) have been pursuing in the recruiting of speakers and guests.
For decades, Grazer has been executing on a program for “expanding his universe.” Every two weeks Grazer meets with someone in an unrelated field. He pursues people “expert or reknowned” in pursuits other than show business. Experts in the realms of science, medicine, politics, architecture, fine arts, fashion and religion have all been interviewed by him.
This philosophy of mining diverse experiences has been bolstered by the strong positive response we’ve seen to our unconventional speaker choices over the years like having professional magicians and consulting detectives onstage.
We frequently mention onstage that “connecting dots” is a crucial aspect for innovation and creativity and Grazer specifically referenced this in a recent LA Times piece.
“Always do things that disrupt your comfort zone,” he said. “If you do this with a purist heart, and you don’t approach it with an ask … the dots do connect.”
Order the book here.