Archive for April, 2010

Ideas are like mushrooms

30 Apr

Ideas are like mushrooms:

Ever notice how mushrooms crop up in the yard when conditions are just right? Moist, rainy and cool weather seems to do the trick where I live. I like to get outside and draw them when I can.  Under the right conditions, amazing things can happen and the generation of ideas is no exception.

In Betty Edwards’ groundbreaking work Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain she writes, “combining perceptual skills with problem solving evokes an extended shift to an alternate mode of thinking”.  This mode of thinking is the holistic, non-linear creative thought process research has shown to be connected with the right-side, more creative side of the brain.

The act of drawing, even something as simple as a mushroom growing in the garden, is the quick ticket to this creative mode of thought.  Being in a “right-brain” mode of thinking is the condition under which the best ideas come.  If you are noodling a complicated problem at work or in your personal life, give it some thought, then pick up a pen and paper and go draw something seemingly unrelated for a while.  You may be surprised at the mushrooming of ideas that occurs.

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Practicing to be concise…

07 Apr

In today’s loud world, the most effective messages are concise messages.

Think about an Apple Press Conference… a quick little blurb, then BAM. You’re floored. (Duarte Design calls is the S.T.A.R. moment: ‘something they’ll always remember.’) You and I aren’t Steve Jobs, yet… but we can practice. Here’s how:

  1. Get on twitter.

    Setup an account, have fun with the name.
    Come up with your ‘reason for tweeting’.
    Read what others are saying, follow them, if you care. Maybe retweet it, add  your own comment to support your ‘reason for tweeting.’
    Go out in the world, share an observation. (Force it when you have none, you’ll be surprised what comes to mind.)
    Update your ‘reason your tweeting,’ then, keep going, you’ll learn to speak volumes in 140 characters.

  2. Start sketching.

    Buy a 3″x5″ notepad, maybe a moleskin. Smaller = better.
    Keep it in your pocket with a pen, jot down ideas… good and bad.
    Try to draw a graphic for those ideas, to help you think differently about them, and to help you remember them later. (Try it, you’ll be surprised it works.)
    When you’re mind has run blank, flip through your old ideas, and redraw whatever seems interesting.
    Share your observations with others. You can’t include all the details in a sketch, so you’ll know what’s most important.

  3. Start editing.

    Look at your work… maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s software, maybe it’s a new car door.
    Is it all important? What couldn’t your final product live without?
    Only include that.
    Continue to explore how you can solve problems (the reason you work right?) in the simplest and easiest way.
    Share your concise results with others. If you can explain it quickly and easily, you’re being concise. People love that.

What helps you to be concise?

How will P&G's skillset need to change? Looking & Listening, Making Ideas Real, Clarifying the future vision, Editing. How to be more concise... practice. Twitter, Sketching, Journaling, Editing.

The source for this post... sketch notes of a Roger Martin speech on Design Thinking.

Popularity: 19% [?]


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