The classic recipe for creative work is:
creative brief + talent = creative work
This is an old school formula. It puts the all of the planning and intention setting in a stage separate from the creative talent it seeks to inspire. A tightly written brief asks for execution, not ideation. It directs the creative process instead of immersing the project in a process. It works wonderfully for getting large amounts of projects completed but doesn’t necessarily leave deep opportunities for real creative thinking. The challenge for large organizations that work in this method is to find ways to interweave creative thinking with planning so that they don’t always end up with the same solution over and over again.
In the current economy, with its demand for innovation, a too tight plan squeezes out time to iterate and rethink what is truly needed. An excellent way to add some space for the new is to leverage outside perspective. The gig economy, with its ever-changing cast, provides continually new approaches and ways to look at what is needed. Gig players ask more questions, stretch the boundaries of the projects, make connections that are surprisingly novel and get us to solutions outside of the ordinary and expected. Bringing in temporary new thinking on a project or a team to ideate, conceive, brainstorm, invent or just spin ideas adds the spice of newness to the intention.
A new recipe
Too often, when asked to solve cyclical needs, we frost last year’s solutions with pretty icing. Unfortunately, your customers want something more than a new glaze on an old idea. The new recipe is:
[(intention/insights) x new perspective = ideation] x creativity + planning = campaign
Of course, knowing what’s needed, having a certainty of vision clarifies intention and provides the boundaries necessary to turn ideas from daydreams into vision. Hedging or generalizing, trying to make everything appeal to everyone is a recipe for blandness. Specificity, memorability, and personality are the ingredients for good creativity. Combining them with a diversity of talent will give you creative solutions that are new and relevant to your current need.
This post also published on Medium.