The Roundpeg Creative Process
The Creative Process
I am often asked, why I chose to name my company “Roundpeg.” The obvious answer was because I spent all those years in corporate, feeling like a square peg in a round hole, and this is where I fit!
But there is more to the story. I wanted to build a business around the ideas of creativity, collaboration, and positive energy, and for me, creativity begins with a “R.O.U.N.D” process.
R.O.U.N.D: Research, Originate, Unite, Nurture, Do It!
To produce creative output, you need creative input! Collecting a variety of information, without worrying how it fits, is the foundation of the research phase. Input comes from everywhere, what you read, what you see when you are out for a walk, what you learn from others.
- Explore your environment. Look for new ideas, trends and tools.
- Seek inspiration everywhere. Take a walk and really look around you. I often find inspiration from nature.
- Learn something new. Enhance your education, expand your talents, abilities and skills.
- Look back to move forward. Analyze data and study historical trends.
The second step is the most fun. In this phase, everything is possible. It can be done alone or with a group. While it is fun to bring together team members and peers together for a short but lively session of Originating, remember that some people are more comfortable thinking out loud and may overpower the more analytic folks in the room. Be sure to include everyone in the conversation and invite people to submit ideas in writing after the session.
This process works well with a diverse group, people with very different skills, personality styles, and experience. Make sure everyone in the room understands, there are no bad ideas and no limitations.
- Question the information you have collected. Is it relevant reliable and usable?
- Connect to your inner child, don’t be afraid to be silly or outrageous. Sometimes in the craziest idea there is something worth exploring. Be creative, think, and daydream
- Bring people together to brainstorm and answer the “what-if” questions.
- Generate many, many ideas.
This phase involves reviewing all the ideas you have generated and selecting a few to explore in greater detail. You are still not completely critical, and crazy suggestions will still play a roll in this phase. Remember in this phase there are still no bad ideas and no limitations such as budget, time, or people.
There are however a few best ideas, and these are the ones you need to focus on expanding. As you embrace these ideas, unite related concepts, look for connections and ways to build on the ideas of others.
- Make decisions by selecting a few to take forward.
- Identify common threads and reoccurring themes.
- Borrow ideas from others, build on initial suggestions adding alternatives and enhancements.
- Look for ways to take ideas to the next level don’t be afraid to invent and innovate.
It is important to take a break between uniting and nurturing. It may be only a few minutes or a few days. This break allows people to know you are making a transition from wild ideas to critical review. This break is important for the more analytic or introverted members of the group. They will have time to process information, formulate responses and questions, and share their feelings with the group or individual members.
This is where the real work begins. Now it is time to evaluate your ideas with objective eye. Improving and refining the concepts so they become actionable. Identify and eliminate obstacles as you nurture the best ideas, giving them the chance to blossom and grow. Most ideas won’t survive this phase, as impractical or unworkable ideas must be rejected, so the best ideas can blossom.
- Objectively evaluate ideas.
- Reject what doesn’t work.
- Simplify the over-complicated.
To move from concepts to reality, you must commit to a course of action. Develop action plans, timelines, deadlines, and measures. Success depends on your passion, commitment, enthusiasm, and your ability to learn from your mistakes.
- Market your idea.
- Deal with critics.
- Measure progress.
- Survive success.
- And Begin Again!
It is a round process, because, as soon as you think you are done, it is time to start again!
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