thinking & doing different

For anyone involved in a creative capacity in church or ministry, Brand Autopsy provides 43 ideas to get you beyond thinking differently to doing differently. This list contains some great ways to break out of “rut thinking” and is good information to have as 2009 gets underway. Here are a few of my favorites:

6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

15. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question.

16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

19. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.

29. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

I think #29 is particularly interesting, given how much we believe technology serves our creativity. I’ve been in a lot of creative/brainstorming meetings where most people (including me) brought a laptop. During the course of the meeting we look up movie clips and music and web sites, all of which may be helpful to the concepts we’re working with. But what I’ve also noticed is that while searching the internet, two things happen. One: We often disconnect from the discussion going on without us. Great ideas are frequently improved by incremental changes, so the process is not benefiting from that individual’s participation. And two: A concept is alive and changing. When we finally find the clip we were looking for, it’s the answer to a concept that’s already evolved through several iterations. Trying to connect the two drags the whole process backwards, or disrupts the progress which has been taking place. How much bigger and wilder might our ideas become without the limitations of technology?

Review the entire list. You’re bound to find something that inspires you.

2 thoughts on “thinking & doing different

  1. While it all sounds nice, I have to tell you that most approaches to creativity don’t assist me in being creative at all. Perhaps my cynicism gets the best of me here, but I see this as more unsubstantive “Christian self-help” that thrives in capitalism because it sells. Particularly the collaboration principle: I blogged about that specifically recently…”let’s collaborate” in a church environment tends to become “let’s all have an opportunity to change a piece of what you’ve written so that it becomes homogenous mush.”

    Again, perhaps this is my cynicism talking but…I guess I find myself less than inspired.


    1. Well, you make a valid point. I think it matters a lot who’s in the room. Real collaboration can happen among the right mix of idea people. The problem is, most churches tend to have too many and the wrong people on a creative team. (Everyone wants to be on the “creative” team!) Which actually can kill any real idea-building creativity.


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