Original and innovative creative ideas break the rules and take an unpredictable approach. Do these ideas share patterns of thinking?
Yes. It is commonly agreed that the most innovative creative ideas share an ability to break the rules and take an unpredictable approach. Which is true. However, Mindscapes analysis of award winning creative ideas in recent years, shows that a majority of these apparently unique ideas also share recurring patterns of thinking. These patterns can be translated into powerful structured thinking tools which help develop creative ideas in a more efficient and effective manner.
How can you discover different patterns, what approach do you use?
The first thing you need to do is… look for them. When analyzing successful creative work we tend to assess how original each ideas is. We usually don’t analyze groups of ideas together, and rarely discuss the thinking patterns behind the creative outcomes. Once you start looking for recurring thinking patterns in groups of ideas, you realize there is much to learn from it. There are of course different kinds of patterns. Some reveal a disruptive technique for looking at an existing ‘system’ and deconstructing it in an innovative way which delivers the brand message. Some suggest specific ways for developing new systems altogether.
For example, can you identify the recurring thinking pattern exemplified in these three award winning ideas:
We will discuss the answer at the seminar in Ljubljana.
Learning structured ways to open your imagination seems paradoxical. How can we know which rules are meant to be broken and which are not?
All rules are probably meant to be broken. The question is how. Identifying recurring thinking patterns in ideas which have already broken rules time and again, is an effective way to understand how to break existing common molds. And how to direct the mind towards relevant specific thinking paths. Actually the only rule which should not be broken is the need to think within a Restricted Universe, under clear boundaries. These boundaries empower creative thinking rather than constrain it.
How can your approach and Mindscapes tools improve team’s efficiency?
By suggesting a structured way of creative thinking. Our approach is not aimed at replacing creative talent. Or taming creativity. It simply helps put the creative talent to use in specific ways which lead to effective thinking. It’s like having a map which leads to a destination currently not on the map.
Can you learn how to develop creativity skills? If yes, what is your suggestion where and how to start?
Yes. Although there is no replacement for experience. Using structured thinking methods is one way to develop your skills. The key is using them over time and not just for a short while or occasionally. Because like everything else, they require a learning and adjusting phase. So experience is key here as well.
What is the most interesting thing when working with clients? Where have you noticed the biggest differences in the way of thinking?
I think the most interesting point when working with clients, is seeing how we all have creative capabilities which can be elevated if approached correctly. There is a wonderful lecture by John Cleese about creativity, claiming it is not a talent. But rather an operating system: John Cleese on Creativity.
Some of us are better than others at operating this system. Just like in the case of many other operating systems we are all so familiar with. I am very fond of this description. And enjoy seeing it come to life during trainings and workshops. All of us can benefit from having a creative-thinking-operating-system-instruction-manual at our disposal.
Which thinking tool is in your opinion the most innovative and creative?
Not a fair question. No need to make one tool feel less appreciated than others… Basically every tool can be effective in specific circumstances. Overall we have identified 15 different thinking patterns which are translated into 15 thinking tools. And counting. Different trainings for different clients will usually incorporate different tools according to their specific needs and challenges. I think one form of thinking which is growing in popularity these days, inspires “fun leading to functionality” ideas. As we are used to seeing it work mostly the other way around. The “Sea Hero Quest” idea for Deutsche Telekom which won in Cannes this year is a great example of fun leading to functionality: Sea Hero Quest | The Project Story
What would be your message to Golden Drum delegates?
Use rules to break the rules. Be restless. But also be patient. And speaking about innovative thinking - remember that innovative technology is not necessarily the best way to ignite innovative creative ideas. I suspect the opposite is more relevant - innovative creative ideas will lead you to smart innovative usage of technology, existing or new.
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