Written by Lissette Arias on May 21, 2008 7:48 pm EST
Here are some creative tips from one of the sessions at the HOW Design Conference with speaker Scott Belsky. Most ideas never happen. What a sad reality! So how can we make sure those ideas are not lost? Identify the obstacles. And here’s a pretty good list:
Making ideas happen is not a result of luck; rather it is a result of:
We pretty much have the creativity part taken care of; creativity comes pretty naturally to us. It’s the ‘other’ stuff that we sometimes shrink away from and that’s where we can always use a little help.
It’s essential to distinguish urgent vs. important. Important items are long time goals. When things are thrown at us, sometimes we tend to just take it on, we figure we’ll just take care of it, it’ll only take a second but this is not being productive. The most productive designers are those who learn to differentiate between the two.
Creativity + Organization = Impact
Do you know who was voted the Best Organized Supply Chain in 2008? Take a wild guess. Sysco, Walmart maybe? Nope. Apple. Ah ha! And they are one of the most creative organizations. If you want to make an impact, you have to pair up your creativity with organization.
I particularly enjoyed a point when he started picking on those infamous Monday morning meetings and it made so much sense. You’ll see why. You might be a part of a company that gathers the bunch on Monday mornings and you just kind of sit there in body but so not in mind. Most of the time, those directing the meetings are frantically scrambling around Monday morning trying to come up with topics for this sacred meeting. Hello? Did anyone stop to think about which day of the week we’ve chosen to do this? It’s Monday AND morning for crying out loud! Can you really recall what you were working on Friday? Most of the time, just as you’re starting to get in the flow of your work-mode the bells go off and you’re pulled away to sit at a meeting that probably won’t have much of an impact on you. I personally believe in compromise. If you have to have a weekly meeting, then why not have it Monday afternoon. Sounds perfect for me. But the bottom-line is that if you don’t need a meeting, don’t have it just because. This type of situations, when there is a forced meeting just because, is not productive and it halts the productivity of an entire team.
This was a really nifty suggestion that works best in smaller organizations: create an ACTION area in your office. Literally mark a section on a desk somewhere and put non-urgent items there that need to be done but who have not been assigned to anyone. Then anyone who happens to have a second can go to that area and take care of it. If there are items that need to be mailed out, you can place those items there and in that day, someone should do it. If you place a candy bar there, well the course of action is obvious, you have to eat it. You get the idea.
How can you make use of your community in order to make ideas happen? Here are a few things you can put into practice. Seek cross-pollination. Have lunch, interact with someone who is not like you, someone who is an expert in a field you are not, or has skills that are different from yours. Share ideas liberally. Don’t be greedy with ideas because you’re afraid someone else is going to ’steal’ it. By sharing your ideas, you polish them because you will hear different viewpoints that as a result will refine your idea. Share ownership of ideas. Fight your way to breakthroughs. And don’t become burdened by consensus. Not everyone is going to be happy.
A great leader speaks last. The visionary should be silent. Some ‘visionary’ leaders always speak first in turn missing out on fresh ideas plus you’re not engaging people. Instead, start meetings with questions-not answers. Make sure random ideas don’t distract you. Create a time for ideas. Get a feel for the team’s ‘temperature’. Always move the ball forward. Seek restraints. And when the need arises, judge based on initiative not on experience. Be notable. Nothing extraordinary comes from ordinary efforts.
If you liked the tips from above please read my Daily Scoop on the 2008 HOW Design Conference.
Trackback URL for this post: http://www.gimmiethescoop.com/daily-scoop-on-2008-how-design-conference-day-2-tips-for-creativity/trackback