“Be creative. Now.”
“We need more ideas. Now”
“Make a plan. Now.”
Our factory mindset persists. But instead of making widgets, workers are now required to manufacture ideas. We have refocused our dangerous thinking in an effort to outperform the competition.
“Those with the best ideas win, so let’s simply make more. One of them will work!”
Making lots of ideas for the sake of making lots of ideas lacks focus. It’s indefinite. And it doesn’t help solve the problem at hand. Worse yet, it creates anxiety within an organization and makes it acceptable to ship bad ideas.
Bad ideas aren’t acceptable; they’re bad.
To prevent bad ideas from shipping, some people believe that our creative projects can be put on an assembly line and standardized — if only we could eliminate the waste. Standardization eliminates waste.
Books can be written in 3 months instead of 3 years.
Masterpieces can be painted in 1 day instead of 1 month.
And albums can be recorded in 3 days instead of 3 months.
But there’s a trade-off.
The problem with this of course is that it’s completely missing the point. Creativity isn’t linear. The inputs cannot be marginalized and are in no way related to the output. Putting idea generation on an assembly line produces average ideas.
It’s fine if you or your organization want to work like that, but people and companies — those who embrace the creative process and let ideas bake on their own time — will continue to win.