A quick sidebar on creativity through email

July2.brainstormingA quick sidebar on creativity through email

We can all agree, creativity isn’t a linear process—it best thrives when varying perspectives are all given equal weight and the something that has been looked at a thousand times in one light is suddenly seen in a completely different one.

After 30 years in this business, we’ve learned a few things that work and a few that don’t in spawning good creative concepts. Let’s take brainstorming, for example.

In a good session, ideas abound, leaping off each other, morphing into different viewpoints and even bordering on the ridiculous sometimes! (…as it should be…)  No one is told ‘no way!’ or given an eye roll when throwing out a concept.  Everyone is given a fair chance to state their ideas and comment collaboratively on others.  This is all a very personal exchange.

So, one thing that really gets us is when we see the creative process trying to be hashed out in an email trail.  It’s a counterintuitive method to an extremely dynamic process.  While email has made certain aspects of business more efficient, it utterly stymies the creative process.

How many times have you crafted an email and said to yourself, “Does that sound right?” before sending.  You’re hoping the right message gets across, so think about how flat your idea will fall when trying to foster a creative environment if there’s no context along with it, no platform for it to grow.

This doesn’t mean that we have to take planes, trains and automobiles to be in the same room every time.  Not at all!  In fact, our clients span 9 time zones, so we’ve learned to use a range of collaboration tools.  Today’s technology, from basic conference calling to Skype and everything else in between, removes any excuse for not somehow connecting personally.

Just as people consume information in various ways (audio, visual, etc.), so will you find that the way the creative process flows will depend on the participants.  Make sure you try different tools for different sessions so you get the best inputs from everyone.

Ironing out creative differences, understanding people’s viewpoints and basic, immediate feedback is part of the process to get the necessary input you need to bring a project to a successful conclusion.  And for creativity, this just can’t be done in a linear fashion via a static email trail.

And if you need to think of the ways that you could make this work in your business, you can give us a call or get your people together…and brainstorm!

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