At the core of every winning project, is a creative team that has poured its blood, sweat and tears into bringing an idea to life. Unified by concepts, whiteboard scribbles and a common passion for problem solving, creative teams often arrive at many viable solutions. Some of which you may never see but are vital to the success of a project.
In an effort to demystify the creative ideation process, let’s explore the process itself and how to maximize the benefits of getting started appropriately, including thoughts concerning a multi-discipline approach—helping to turn the intangible (ideas) into the tangible (a working, aesthetically pleasing product).
So what exactly is creativity anyway?
Creativity is defined as being marked by the ability or power to create—to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new. Creativity can also be described at many levels—cognitive, intellectual, social, economical, and from the finite perspective of different disciplines—business, science, music, art, and so on. With that said, those with degrees in design are not the only ones that can be creative and should welcome the input of the whole team—sharing the knowledge and experience from many disciplines.
Since our creative executions are ultimately connected to business goals, and the success or failure can be measured, much consideration should be given to the process of creative problem solving.
What is the process…and why is it necessary?
Strong ideas drive successful projects. The process of creative problem solving, brainstorming and ideation, are essential at the beginning of a project. A key aspect in making this process successful is having a deep understanding of the client’s needs and objectives. This helps team members rapidly and spontaneously generate thoughts and possible solutions while maintaining a reasonable measure of limitations—deeming solutions viable or not. That’s not to say you cannot think big—all ideas are valuable! A thought generated by one member can spark an idea in another.
By giving everyone involved a shared ownership in the process, the team can come up with a strong, strategic direction—which if adopted by the client, will win the support and enthusiasm needed to sustain you through the stages of the design development.
Three types of thinking…which type are you?
Below are different thought processes by which ideas are generated. The three types of thinking presented helps teams explore new and interesting ideas:
Source: How to Develop Student Creativity by Robert J. Sternberg, Wendy M. Williams (1996, ASCD); Dr. Leslie Owen Wilson