Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Over the past two days we've taken part in an 'ideation' course at work with the objective of learning to tap into our creative mindsets and not just come up with great ideas, but build on our instinctive ideas, hone the good ones and throw out the bad ones.

It's been interesting. Particularly because, as account people, we're seen as "suits"--the un-fun folks in the ad agency culture. The creatives get to be wacky and fun and come up with all the cool ideas. The account people are there to manage budgets and timelines and generally be buzzkills.

I liked that we got to take part in a workshop that focused on creativity and exercising that part of our brains. Personally, I loooove brainstorming sessions at work. I like to work closely with the creative team when I can because I love seeing ideas grow and flourish and come to life, and yes, get trampled and discarded when they're not so great. I love that part of the process.

One of the interesting things I learned from the session is that I'm a "machine gun" idea generator. I come up with ideas quickly and easily and am not afraid to shout out the stupid ones in addition to the good ones. There are also "detectives" (who need lots of background and context before coming up with ideas), "sifters" (who are good at determining which ideas are great and which are bad) and "honers" (ones who focus on one singular good idea and bust it out to perfection).

I'm not surprised to learn that I'm a machine gun. Even at home I come up with ideas quickly and always have a list of twenty million things to do that all seem awesome. The problem is, I don't give them the care and feeding they need to grow. I end up forgetting about them.

Hopefully, with the learnings from the workshop I'll be able to focus more on some of my ideas, bust them out into plans, and accomplish some cool things.

I have dozens of little ideas bubbling up right now. I can't wait to put some of them into action. I feel inspired and excited about the next several weeks, which is pretty much the best feeling you can ask for.

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