Do you know those meetings that end up in someone taking things a teeny bit too personally followed by doors slamming and toilet-crying? Let’s just all do our best to forget them.
Imagine all those physicists arguing about, I don’t know, black holes, interstellar wormholes and whether Pluto is a planet or he needs to grow up and mature a little bit for that yet. They’ve been going on with the same theories for centuries; the amazing thing is they can actually prove or dismiss facts, empirically. 2+2 will always be 4 and if a wild chemist comes stating this might be wrong, well, he’ll be one of those crazy doctors we so dearly love.
What happens in the creative world, though?
Here’s the thing: 2+2 is not always 4 in the creative world. It can be 5, 6, maybe 2 1/2 or even that your car is full of watermelons. Alas, discussions can get a bit tangled between “this is my idea and I’m sure it will work” and “I don’t really know how to say this, Matt, but even my goldfish is bored by your idea”. Creativity has a strong link to our ego because, as it’s not something clearly founded in a scientific method and you put your heart and guts in it, you might feel those very body parts are being attacked when someone at your team states, for no reason in particular, that he/she doesn’t like the way you resolved a creative problem. Sorry, Matt.
How can we say adieu to this problem?
Usually, it’s the ultime voice of the boss who ends up deciding what’s good, bad, evil or sacred. This is not a horizontal process; it’s as triangular as the three Keops pyramids, in fact. Here are some tips to avoid this cul-de-sac situation:
Empathy is a must: in meetings and in life.
Criticism is of no use as long as it’s not constructive.
All ideas are welcome: they might not be perfect in the beginning, but they can open pathways to new and better ones.
Never stick to an idea too strongly: it is just an idea, not the door that saved Rose and let Jack die in Titanic (he would still fit).
Vote: horizontal is democratic, and democratic is one man, one vote. Voting ideas is a good way to speed up processes in a productive way.
Use creative methods like Triggers: they put us all on the same page in an entertaining manner and, in a way, nobody can own an idea as it came through a method. Win-win.
We talked to Sven to know how they are using Triggers in their daily work.
It's not easy to comment on other people's work without pissing them off or making them feel judged. Smart creatives know how to use feedback as a powerful tool to grow the quality of their work and inspire others to do better.
The creative process can be much like a rollercoaster. Up and down and up again in no time. It's impossible to avoid these emotional curves, but what you can do is identify them and fight back.
It's a good thing to fight for ideas we believe in, altho it's useless if we fight for them just because they are ours. When you work in teams to create solutions to a problem, it should never be a personal competition to see who contributed to the winning idea; it's about working together towards the same goal.
It's difficult for people to go from 0 to 10 in no time. That's why we recommend you to prepare some warming exercise before you get everyone to work, especially if you are running a workshop with clients. With these simple tricks, you'll make sure you break the ice and have your team's brain ready to ideate.
Triggers is excellent opening creative paths and making it very easy for everyone to come up with ideas. Even your clients don't have any training; they'll have a great and useful time using the cards.
A goal is the essential part of a team. Without a goal, your team is just a group of people gathering around. There would be no purpose and no clear direction. That's why, before every creative meeting, we advise you to set the goal of the session very clear.
It is a common problem. It could be personality, personal situation, or trust issues. Whatever the reason is, the problem is always the same: not everyone contributes with ideas when brainstorming. Even when it could sound like a huge issue and some difficult to solve, it's not. You just need to introduce one simple step in your creative sessions: first write, then share.
Admit it. We don't know how to listen really. It's a common thing. When someone comes to tell us something, while we are listening, we already think what to answer. It's an automatic mechanism inside of us, and it usually leads to a lot of prejudges and misunderstandings.
Ideating with Triggers cards could be addictive! That isn't necessarily a bad thing (we assure you there are no health contraindications), but we recommend to put a limit on the number of cards you use for each session.