Look outside your industry: Music

Look outside your industry: Music

Explore the planets in the creativity galaxy

A guide to conflicts

Conflicts are inevitable. However, arguments are avoidable.

Conflicts are as common to the work space as breathing to human beings; it is natural and logical to have discerning points of view on projects and ideas. It doesn’t mean that the world is crumbling and everything is lost, as we sometimes tend to think. Moreover, conflicts are discussions worth having, because avoiding them causes resentment, frustration and apathy. Here are some tips to focus on how to drive through the bumps without having a crash:

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It’s all about the goals
Stick to the facts and the set goals for the task in hand. It is easy to get tangled in meaningless arguments if you lost the plot and someone probably will end up hurt. The goal is the key thing here.

Repeat mode
Repeating concepts, points of view or ideas is useful to make sure all of the people involved in a conflict are on the same page. Another useful technique is rewording what your colleague has stated to develop empathy and understanding.

It’s really not personal
And that’s how it should stay. Taking things personally is one of the worst things one can do at work; also, saying things in a hurtful way in order to make someone take comments personally is very negative too. And exceedingly childish.

It’s only work
At the end of the day, it’s just work. Keeping that in mind is the first step to finding a good solution to any kind of problem.

Look outside your industry: Art

Explore the planets in the creativity galaxy

Inspiration is, in some ways, very addictive. The more you have it, the more you want it. And if you don’t have it, if you can’t find it, you go into withdrawal and you end up having peaks of desperation thinking that you’ve lost it forever. It is the nutrient for creativity and as necessary as your daily vitamins. The silliest piece of inspiration can spark your brain as a little bit of fuel can turn a campfire into the Great Fire of London. Creativity needs this fuel; luckily there are hundreds of ways we can find it, we just have to look at what surrounds our field. We’re beginning this series on how to find inspiration focusing in another planet in our same galaxy: Art.

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Art is groundbreaking
Speaking of creativity, there’s no better example than the world of Art on doing things first. Ideas that are thought or presented for the first time are usually abstract, complex or hard to understand. They are also an essential part in opening discussions, presenting new ways of looking at things and opening new paths. Art is innovation, hence it’s an amazing source of inspiration.

Art is questioning
In creativity, we try to present creative solutions to everyday problems and new ways to present old ideas, always in favour of explaining something. Art is that something that opens those questions; it makes you wonder about life, death, divine and human.

Art is visual concept
Presenting and meaning go hand in hand in Art, as they should do in creativity. Art has a concept and knows how to say it visually; this is a great learning lesson.

Art is freedom
Art has no briefing, which, even if in our case that means going through a bad nightmare, it can tell us we can actually conform our own briefing. We can choose what to say and how to say it, learn from that freedom and express. Art is to our creative soul what a great dessert is to a nice meal.

The creative process: adding vs. filtering

Picture this; you gather with your team for a brainstorming session. You get comfy, clear out the briefing and it's time to start spitting out ideas. After a short silence, you throw the first idea that comes up to your head and all you get is a "ugh, no", "that won't work" and a pretty rude "that's been done already".

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If this situation sounds too familiar, it's time we talk about two concepts: adding vs. filtering.

Adding
When you face a brainstorming session or any other kind of creative course, the first you want is a lot of ideas. Why a lot? Well, imagine you are about to play a football game. You want to win the game, so you set up the tactic; let's shoot for goal as much as we can. Makes sense, right? The more times you shoot, the bigger probability you'll have to score and win the game. 

With ideas, it works in the same way. The more you have, the more chances to have an awesome one.

If this is not enough reason, we'll give you a second one; you can use other people's ideas to build something greater and better. Use them as triggers for your thoughts. Combine and modify them. We have a beautiful post about that. Go and read it.

Filtering
So you have a bunch of ideas already. Now it makes sense to start filtering and selecting. After adding, not before that, indeed, because how are you going to filter if you don't have anything to filter?

Everything at the right time
It's important we don't mix these two concepts. Differentiate the adding and the filtering stage. It's not only about creating some order and making the process more efficient but also to create a safer space for your creatives. In a good adding phase, everyone is welcome to say the silliest ideas. It should be mandatory. It's the time to explore and take risks. 

If you start shooting down ideas at an early stage, you'll kill some potential gems and destroy your team's vibe. 

So remember, next time you start ideating, first add, then filter.

Impove your creative process: the facilitator's role

Impove your creative process: the facilitator's role

We found out that, when brainstorming and doing creative sessions, having someone that looks out for the direction, agenda, methods and goals can be key. This person doesn't have to necessarily influence in the ideas, but on the process.

Creative process: when to stop and re-start

Creative process: when to stop and re-start

Let’s grab a highlighter and circle the word “stop”.

Keeping creatives stimulated

Keeping creatives stimulated

A happy creative is a productive creative

Decision making in creativity

Decision making in creativity

If you know what you have to do, you know how to decide.