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SXSWi: Tips for making things happen.

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The UT servers are down for maintenance until noon tooday, so I will have to post to a non-UT blog for the interim.

Creativity + organizaion = prores. Urgent versus important. Seek cross-pollination. Tend to hire people who are similar to us. Seek diversity to foster creativity. Share ideas liberally, even before you’re ready. Afraid of someone stealing your idea. If it’s so easily executed by anyone you share with, is it really a good idea? When you share, you hold yourself and others responsible for continuing the creativity.

Put stuff out there and see what sticks. Lets the community filter it. Share ownership of ideas. Everyone’s an artist. Others might handle it differently. Tendency is to micromanage and jump in to drive it. Teams–fight your way to breakthroughs. Fighting is an important component of process. When disagreement/conflict, sometimes creates apathy. See other points of view, hate it. When some get tired and give in, it defuses the creative process. How comfortable are you with fighting?

Don’t become burdened by consensus.  911 memorial–multiple constituencies. Everyone wants to make it a landmark project for themselves. How are you able to make ideas happen amidst oppositing consituencies? Risk: you come up with the lowest common denominator. Get the spectrum of ideas, find a few of the most important extremes. Then reach consensus on the rest. Find streams to protect.

What happens when: Joshua Bell, best violinist, violin, music, in a DC metro station. Plays for @45 min. Does anyone notice?  Only a few people. If your strengths aren’t marketed, won’t get there. Get respect: overcome stigma of self-marketing. Just get respect for your strengths. Your career is 100% your responsibility. Too many people have talent, don’t take time/effort to market themselves.

Leaders talk last-silence the visionary! Jack Welch. GE. When had a decision to make, here’s what I think we should do, what do you think? Most will agree, won’t explore ideas, lose opportunity for engagement. Not engaging emerging leaders to make them think their ideas are being heard.

Reduce your amount of “insecurity work.” Stuff used to do throughout the day, Twitter, analytics, stats, “information porn.” Don’t do it b/c worried that server is down, do it because we’re insecure that things aren’t growing, won’t work out.

Value the team’s immune system. When did things go horribly wrong? Go wrong direction. An idea that wasn’t killed but should have been. Have to suppress immune system, shoot down ideas, especially when you have a deadline. “Hold on! Maybe we should do this!” Distract, suck out energy, waste time, disrupt. Brainstorm sometimes, quell  immunizers.

Seek restraints. “no budget, no timeline, dream up something, no restraints.” w/o design restraints, nobody can produce.

Stop focusing on visionaries. Ad that win the awards aren’t always valuable for client. Most new products fail. Why? Everyone gets drunk on their own koolaid.  Best practice (call your mom? perspective of someone who looks at things differently. Don’t look interesting, but can have even better ideas.

Judge based on initiative, not experience. Xhistory. Couldn’t pay for experience, so hire folks who are super interested in something and taking the initiative. More likely to do that in the future. When co..s grew, had $ to hire, some of those were less successful. What were you interested in and did you take initiative?

Value chemistry over people. Hmmmm. Not sure I like that. Our greatest assets walk in and out of the door every day. Having the greatest all-star group doesn’t always get things done. Build a team that is productive, do group interviews.

Unique is opportune. Society is hypocritical. Conformity is oil in society’s gear. Tend to shun people who go against the grain, and then celebrate them when they build Apple. Nothing extraordinary is ever achieved through ordinary means. Encourage mentors to gain confidence when they’re shunned. Go ahead and take the risk.  http://www.behance.com scott@behance.com.

When clients don’t give restrictions, you should check to make sure they aren’t mistaken. They may have limits such as budget, number of colors, etc., but don’t think that’s relevant. Designers need to know the design space they’ll be working within. Request restraints when client doesn’t give them. Make them think more about what they really want.

Be sure survey questions are relevant. Can use survey results to navigate the bureaucracy and being a creative team. “You said that you wanted x in the survey, let’s stick to that.”

Effective ways to kill ideas. A week of cynicism. Meet for x time, talk about that idea in one week. Lots of informal, uncharged communication. Ends up changing idea, or coming up with ways to make it good. Don’t meet if you don’t need to. “Standing meetings.” Literally stand. Outlook is totally arbitrary. If you schedule an hour, usually fill the hour. Make action steps 1/3 of the page. Reference items are more for facilitation of thought than actual retrieval of record. Write down, helps people remember what they were thinking. Ref. usually used for legal reasons, or for someone who wasn’t at the meeting.

Myth: ideas gain more traction if they’re better. Someone was out there with a better idea but poor execution. How people see competition: some people thrive, but most people don’t love it. Noah Kalina Every Day. Photo of himself every morning for 3 years before he had a plan. Online one nite, found a photog’s blog who said she was taking her pic every day. He had to do something. Made a YouTube of a series, and he was off and running.


Written by kokopelliwoman

March 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Posted in General

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