by Danny Summers

Just imagine... No boundaries. No restrictions. No barriers. Nothing but "blue sky" space to think about things you normally don't. It's like those long summer days when you were a kid and had a world of time to dream big things and make stuff up. Let's open the doors and windows of your mind to just... imagine.

In 2015, The Fall Event was in Orlando and we had the opportunity to have Simon T. Bailey present to The Group. His presentation was based on his then most current book, 'Release Your Brilliance'. Simon said, "Up to the age of 4, most children are operating at a genius (or brilliance) level." He went on to say by the time they reach their early 20's only 20% are there and by their early 30's, only 2% are operating at a genius level. He added, by the time the average child is 17 years of age they have heard the word NO 150,000 times and YES only 5,000 times. Simon has continued on his quest to help everyone find their brilliance. Since then, he has authored five additional books to help encourage his audience's brilliance. You can see them HERE.

Duncan Wardle, who spent 30+ years at Disney and was Vice President of Innovation and Creativity, in April 2018 he asked the question to his audience, "Who here in the room was a child once?" Obviously, the answer was EVERYONE! He told the story of giving his nephew a new bike for Christmas, all wrapped in a huge box, and most of the day was spent playing in the box rather than on the bike. His point was children have a wide-open imagination and giving them something to explore their imagination was much more exciting. Duncan's message parallel's Simon's with adults limiting creative imagination because of structure. By the way, Duncan will be the keynote presenter at TPIE 2022's General Session (more details HERE).

Simon's message reveals how we build boundaries around our imaginations that limit our creativity and imagination. How can we venture beyond these self-imposed limits?

You may be wondering about the photo above. It is one I took of our grandson, Collin, in January 2019 when we visited the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium's largest tank, Ocean Voyager, holds 6.3 million gallons of saltwater. It's the largest single aquarium tank in the world, and the experience gave us a chance to see a young 3-year-old's imagination at work. Ocean Voyager includes over 50+ species of fish including the largest fish species, the whale shark seen in several of the photos below. (You can see a live video feed from Ocean Voyager by clicking on the link above.)

Collin is looking into what appears to be the ocean as he cannot see the opposite side while large schools of species swim by. As I saw him staring into the water, I could only imagine what he was thinking, or the multitude of questions he would ask.

What can you imagine?

What can your team imagine?

And what can your customers imagine?

What your Garden Center offers is just as amazing and wonderful as Ocean Voyager... and you don't even sell tickets!

For those of you who were with us at The Fall Event 2021 and at Longwood Garden's Conservatory, you will remember some amazing sites as well. We were in awe at the magnificent nature on display. Sam Brown of Fiddleheads Garden Center (Dalton, Georgia) wrote in his enews, "The 4-acre conservatory welcomed us with green walls and incredible orchids. The setting was the most incredibly beautiful indoor environment I have ever experienced. I was humbled and grateful as was Crystal and the peers from Ohio who dined with us. Following dinner, we ventured all over the pristine gardens and the massive pump house that controls the MANY fountains that have been operating since the 1930s. The gardens were perfectly manicured with massive mature specimens of many species. The conservatory has so many awe-inspiring areas - children's gardens, desert house, formal gardens, and bathrooms surround by 150' long green walls planted with various ferns. The most amazing individual plant was a rabbit's foot fern hanging basket that was 8 feet across!"

The same week JD Boone (Dothan Nurseries) wrote in his enews, "The most amazing, jaw-dropping, beautiful thing I have ever seen. I cannot properly put into words what this place did to me. I finally just stopped taking pictures and took it all into my mind. At one point, I got lost in there, all by myself, surrounded by the most beautiful perfection I have ever seen, and I cried a little. I have never seen anything so perfect and pretty in my life (except for my wife!)"

So how can you open the windows and doors to creativity for your Center? How can you imagine new ideas to share plants and gardening with your audience? Here are two videos to help you set the stage at your Center for you and your team:

First is Simon T. Bailey's short message (3:35min) about 'How to Be the Best Parent'. It shares the details of children's natural abilities to be brilliant. It also has a great message about what's most important... family time. You can see it HERE.


The second is Duncan Wardle's message 'The Theory of Creativity'. It tells the story of his nephew and the bike (and the cardboard box) and more. You can see it HERE.


And here's a bonus message from Duncan titled, 'Creating Relationship Magic'. In this one, he says "Marketing will be replaced with Experiences in this decade." See it HERE.


I can just see it now... your "Marketing" team member will be called an "Experience" team.

What can you imagine?

What can your team imagine?

And what can your audience imagine?

I hope this can be a spark that sets the imagination and creativity in motion for your Center! And I am anxious to hear about and see your progress!

If you want to learn more about either of The Group Programs, give me a call or email. Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Marketing, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know as I can show you how you can sign up.

Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Steve Bailey, Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, Robert Hendrickson, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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