A funny thing happens when as a “professional creative” you are expected to deliver creativity. As if it was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Being in the spotlight is intimidating, and on top of that someone cracks a “you are the designer, you tell us”. But of course, you are co-creating, isn’t it what you -creatives- are experts on? Shouldn’t you be full of good ideas, as a vending machine is full of soda? Ugh. NO! Creating is hard enough, but co-creating with humans that are not on board or familiar with the design process adds an extra load of pressure and emotional work for the designer. Because then, the role shifts from designer to facilitator of the process, teacher, translator, cheerleader, negotiator, mediator of egos (yours included), and anything else needed in order to convince your fellow human co-creators that everybody is creative. Make them believe that magic is going to happen, but it is not hiding in a hat.
But, what is this magic about? It is about the process of creating. Some call it design, some call it integration (by some I mean Mary P. Follett). It is the third alternative when you don’t want to compromise, neither you want to take/make an imposition. So, you come out with a new solution! The process is a “circular response” of constructive conflict, unifying and evolving. Creativity is not a static ‘being’ but a mindset that enables the possibilities of ‘becoming’.
The key of success lies in the team. Once they let go fear of failure and understand that mistakes are encouraged, it is easier to start playing the “yes, and…!” game. Diversity in the team will keep alive the conversation, members transform each others ideas and reflect them back at them. It becomes an intuitive back and forward. If you trust people in their potential to imagine, they will expand. The creative process is powerful because you can let go yourself, and become part of a bigger functional puzzle. And that puzzle is the solution, the design, the creation, the art, the magic.
When you are working among fellow “creatives” you may not notice the hidden structures that allows you to flow. It’s until your river becomes a sludge that being stagnated makes you wonder: where did I lost my groove? A meta reflection on ‘your ways’ helps to visualise and understand the path to find the river again.
Follet points out that there are situations, like tragedies, where you can not integrate solutions.
*Dynamic administration: the collected papers of Mary Parker Follett/ edited by Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick
*Look At What the Light Did Now/ Feist