Many of my classes this semester are focused on fostering productivity and creativity, whether it be in the workplace, as an entrepreneur, or in the design process. I’ve come across countless methods and theories, from the traditional brainstorming, to the philosophy of 20% creative time famously implemented at Google, and even simple iteration and ideation. One notion that has become particularly clear to me, especially when working in groups and teams, is that creative freedom is a must. Ideas should be allowed to be proposed and built upon, no matter what one’s initial reaction is. Allowing the first idea the opportunity to grow can create an ultimately different idea that provides the perfect solution.
This freedom, however, should not be extended forever, nor employed in all levels of the design or ideation process. The key is to implement creative freedom while eventually adding guidelines to ensure the ultimate focus is reached. A balance must be maintained between issuing constraining goals or guidelines at the projects inception and allowing creative possibilities to run wild. The greatest ideas come from thinking outside the box, but ultimately producing a product, presentation, or project comes from a conscience decision to follow a path to completion. Finding this balance is difficult, but it can be obtained by allowing for a brainstorming period in which all ideas are acceptable, and then slowly transitioning to a more practical path where the far flung ideas are set aside to focus on the interesting yet obtainable. Students, employees, and teams should not be given a strict set of instructions, but rather allowed to pursue a creative solution to the given problem, and then guided internally, or externally if need be, to produce the creative solution.