sâmbătă, martie 25, 2006

Dissecting the creative thinking

Our agency has a small, but interesting library. Too bad that there are not too many people actually using it. And no, it's not because they don't have the time.

Anyway, I've run into this cool Pack the other day - Roger von Oech's Creative Whack Pack. To quote: "This book provides the fundamentals of creative thinking. Whether you're a junior in high school, an account executive at an advertising agency, a software programmer, or a mother raising a family, I think that you'll find some useful ideas in these pages"

The pack consists of a book and a pack of cards, actually "64 creativity strategies to provoke and inspire your thinking." I find the idea of the pack of cards really interesting and fun.

They are divided into four sixteen- card suits: Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior. These represent the four types of thinking of the creative process.

The Explorer highlites places and ways to find new information. Here they are:
Try a random idea, See the big picture, Change Viewpoints, Drop an assumption, Find a Pattern, See!Hear!Taste!Fell!Smell!, Listen to your dreams, Look to nature, Look to the past, Let your mind wonder, See the obvious, Get out of your box, Give yourself a whack on the side of the head, Ask "Why?", Look somewhere else, Dig Deeper.

The Artist provides idea-generating techiques. Like:
Be whacky, Exaggerate, Challenge the rules, Rearrange, Substitute, Think like a kid, Ask "What if?", Combine ideas, Make a metaphor, Reverse, Imagine how others would do it, Pause for a bit, Don't force it, Imagine you're the idea, Simplify, Change its name.

The Judge gives decision-making advice upon ideas:
See the positive, Find what's out of whack, Solve the right problem, Conform, Ask a fool, Focus on the real truth, Slay a Sacred Cow, Loosen Up, Check your timing, Beware the unintended, Get out of the dogma house, Be dissatisfied, Don't fall in love with ideas, Avoid Arrogance, Listen to that hunch, Hear to the knock of opportunity.

The Warrior gives the kick we need to get our idea into action:
Believe in Yourself, Put a lion in your heart, Fight for it, Flex your Risk Muscle, Get support, Get rid of excuses, Take a whack at it, Slay a dragon, Have something to stake, Use your shield, Do the unexpected, Sell! Sell! Sell!, Set a deadline! Be persistent, Learn from mistakes, Give yourself a pat on the back.

All these steps are explained (both in the book and on every card) with well chosen examples and everything you need to understand the process and get inspired to make it happen.

The thing with these cards is that one can use them anyway he pleases, as creatively as possible to suit the problem in question. And they can be used in every environment that needs new ideas, new points of view, new insights, and solutions overall.

Well, your average creative person working in an advertising agency knows, or should know all these stuff. That doesn't mean they are being used.
And sadly quite a few of the creatives I've met instantly reject the idea of someone telling them they could expand their thinking - even just by checking out things that might look stupid at first. Oh well, talking bout having an open mind...
It is also true most of these processes are being used subcounsciously by those earing a living out of creating new ideas. But that doesn't make this pack to be less fun or inspiring.


Blogger diana said...

yum, yum!
i can hardly wait for you to pass it on [smug]

12:27 a.m.  

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