Tag Archives: Ideas

Fuel Your Thinking By Knowing Your Dominant Creative Style

I’ve been lucky to work alongside a lot of great creative people in my career. And for the record, yes, we are all creative but have different creative personalities. I recently was speaking at the AAF Birmingham and AAF Lexington ad clubs and shared my point of Imageview on the Four Types of Creative Styles. Everyone exercises a little of each but usually we have one dominant style. Let’s review and see which one best fits you.

The Dumper

The Dumper vomits ideas by the dozens. They speak first and often. They believe the best ideas happen as a result of volume; therefore, they do not hold back in throwing out anything that hits their mind. Good ideas. Bad ideas. Silly ideas. Squirrel? If you need someone to break the awkward silence at the beginning of a brainstorm, a Dumper, is the one to get things going. Beware, a dumper can polarize the rest of the group and they are not controlled. A dumper is great for generating lots of ideas quickly.

Examples of Dumpers are the “mad scientist” types. Think Tasmanian Devil.

The Processor

A Processor takes their time. They understand and embrace the subconscious. They believe that a great idea happens when you feed the brain and let it percolate. First, they hate brainstorm meetings (it requires spontaneity) and they detest Dumpers. They probably think Dumpers are not “real creative” and are unsophisticated in their process. Do not be fooled by the quietness of a Processor. They may not speak often but when they do great things follow. Their ideas are also fewer in numbers but more thought through. Ideas from Processors often are already thought through to the level of implementation.

Examples of Processors are the “Yodas” of the workplace. Quiet but wise.

The Thespian

Drama. Everything. The ideas are dramatic. The presentation of the idea is equally large. No one has ever heard of such as great idea as the one that is about to be heard from a Thespian. In brainstorms Thespians will sit back and wait for others to get their petty ideas out of the way. Then, at just the right time, they will seize the room (standing no doubt) to tell you the best idea you’ve ever heard. Truth is, they do bring great ideas. Sure, they’re pompous but they deliver.

Examples of Thespians are the stereotypical Creative Director from a big ad agency.

The Rip-Off Artist (also known as the Elbow Guy)

The Rip-Off Artist has never seen an idea that they couldn’t use for themselves. They have no problems borrowing from others. “Got Ideas?”. “Just Think It”. “I don’t usually steal other people’s ideas, but when I do they’re from the Dos Eqquis commercials”. Get it? These people are also nice to have at brainstorm meetings because they will throw the most obvious thing onto the table, freeing your minds to fresh thinking. Just laugh at their cheesy version of the trendy tagline and then move on.

One great thing about the Rip-Off Artist is they are great at jumping on the ideas of others. They are great collaborators and team players.

Examples of Rip-Off Artists are most local radio commercials, roadside retailers (car lots) and home-based business signs.

So which one are you? Be honest. Yes, I am a Dumper with a hint of Thespian. A dramatic mad scientist? Yes I am.


Brainstorming Tips For Releasing Your Creative Genius

For many of us in the advertising and marketing business, this is the time of year where work is celebrated through awards such as the American Advertising Federation Addy Awards, the One Show, and many others. Ask anyone who creates such award-winning work why it was so good, and they will point to one central reason – the idea. Ideas are the foundation of not only great messages, they fuel all great new products.

So how do great ideas happen? If I really knew I would bottle it up and sell it (now there’s an idea). Ideas are a process but definitely not a formula. A few months back I participated in a panel discussion on the topic of brainstorming lead by Werkshop Marketing. The conversation captured some nice pearls of wisdom worth sharing. Maybe it will help you create idea greatness. In typical digital media fashion, during the panel discussion we received some nice input from my Twitterverse. Thanks to audio branding hotshots IV Group and Creative Guru (branding, art director, painter) Gregg Boling for some nice brainstorming nuggets.

So in no particular order here are some stimulants for successful brainstorming:

  • Organized chaos. There is an objective in mind. Everyone should be aware of it. But the more people are allowed to “embrace crazy” the bigger ideas you will have.
  • Get outside your comfort zone. Go off-site for your meeting. A different environment will help you and your team think different.
  • Publish the objectives of your brainstorm prior to the meeting. The most effective “on the clock” comes when everyone receives the information at least 48 hours ahead of time (not the night before). The mind is a wonderful thing. It will start brainstorming whether its an active process or not. Request all participants write down at least 10 ideas before they walk into the meeting. This weeds out all the bs and allows you to get to the good stuff.
  • Write every single idea you can think of around the focus. Then think of more. Don’t stop until you get to 100.
  • Theodore’s “10 ideas in 10 minutes” – write 1 or more ideas every minute for 10 minutes – every idea counts – no judgement.
  • Get the obvious over with. Often there are obvious “ideas” because its, well, too easy. Some say to spend five minutes focusing on the most obvious ideas. Trust me, they won’t be the best ideas, but it gets them out of your system.

Looking for more on how to develop great ideas. Here are a few books on my shelf I’ve used help you ignite your creative genius.

There are more. Many more. In fact, we could brainstorm how to brainstorm. What do you use to create a great idea?