Dyson’s disdain for brainstorming got me thinking, when I get into designing (anything really) where is my creativity coming from? After some reflection I have to say, all of my creative moments are direct response to things in my surroundings that I feel could be way more functional/efficient/aesthetically pleasing etc.
My husband taught me a term coined in his office a number of years ago and from the moment I heard it I thought it was a perfect representation of how I operate. There are problems, and these create opportunities for new creative solutions, and from this you get Problertunities.
In my life and work I get presented with a lot of problertunities, sometimes I act on them, sometimes they fall into the ‘when I have time’ pile, but they all spark a sense of ‘there has to be a better way’ in my gut. I have always been attracted to non-functional moments, problems if you will, because I get satisfaction out of creating solutions or finding a way to make it work, but not just work, work well. I don’t always succeed but that is just part of the process. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you fall flat on your face in front of a huge audience. No one ever said being creative was all fun and glamour.
In the article about Dyson he highlights that people have a perception that creativity is impeded by failures, problems or criticism but for the most part, the most creative solutions have comes as a result of these things. Of course, extreme negativity is not going to help anyone or anything, but well thought out criticism, or bringing to light a weakness can actually inspire more creativity. So why is it that the rules of engagement when it comes to ‘brainstorming’ have traditionally been to hold criticism and only encourage the flow of ideas and not explore the weaknesses of these ideas?
I found a few articles that outline an effective way to be creative as a group, including the one I initially read about Dyson. I think they are pretty interesting, and right on track for the creative process.
As for me, I will continue to welcome problertunities and use them to find ways to improve my surrounds, and hopefully the surroundings of others too!
Imagine you’re leading a brainstorming session at your company. You want to come up with growth strategies for your startup, so you gather your team in a meeting room, generate lots of ideas, and choose the most promising one. Many small business owners use that approach, but unfortunately, it often doesn’t work.
Progress is often driven not by the accumulation of small steps, but by dramatic leaps. The television wasn’t an iteration of a previous device, it was a new technology altogether. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity didn’t tinker with Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, it replaced it in almost every detail.
Almost everybody does brainstorming wrong, Ralph Keeney says, and turns it into an enormous waste of time. He wants to tell you how to do it right. An emeritus professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and a consultant to such diverse organizations as the Department of Energy and, just last […]