Do it differently

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When I say creative people – I’m not just thinking about people paid to be creative in their job titles. Obviously, anyone in any job has the ability to be creative. Not everyone is encouraged to be captive. But creativity can come in all sorts of different ways. From creative ways to solving problems to creative ways of designing a product.

As I head back into my new job – though 3 months in, it feels far from new – I’m really conscious that its more than tempting to slip into do everything the same way all the time. As work piles on and deadlines loom, the pressure to get things delivered by an all too short deadline mount up. But there are always opportunities to approach things differently. I was pleased to see that whilst I’ve been away – someone who doesn’t get involved in the creative writing process had tackled a brief for a local client. It would have been easy, and tempting, to write something pretty functional to deliver the brief. But faced with a challenge, she has written something far more fun that does the job in a more entertaining way. It may need a little polishing to make it work entirely how I’d want it to work, but the fact that she’s approached it a different way is really refreshing.

So what will you try to do differently today?

A break from the Norm

How many times are you tempted to fall back on the same routines? How often do you approach creative challenges with the same, often predictable solution? I suggest that the answer it yes – on both counts – in many situations. This is totally understandable in many cases. We all have huge pressures on our time these days – and sometimes it’s easier just to get jobs out of the door. But don’t let that become the norm.

I’m working on a project that encompasses almost every part of the organisation I work for. It will involve programming on radio, on Tv and an equally large body of content that will live online. The creative brief was challenging – but the solution has been surprising – putting a contemporary filter over very traditional content. It’s taken bold decision-making to make it happen. And the challenge for me has been to try to make the radio part feel relevant – rather than overly traditional – but also accessible to a wide range of audiences – and to sound relevant to the station sound on a range of radio networks. The project delivers at the end of the week – and I’ll share he tv and radio creative (along with the story behind it) once its on air.

The problem with breaking creative boundaries is that you have to be brave and take risks.

I’ve been lucky enough over the years to work with Programme Directors who have been very creative – and loved to try new things. And I’ve worked with a couple who have not. Some ideas led to ratings success and were celebrated. Others led to audience indifference and were swiftly dropped. But whatever the outcome, they always needed someone with the balls to say yes.

It’s easy to push back on highly creative ideas. They may cost too much. They may be too risky. They may be challenging to your peers or the people you are trying to impress as you line yourself up for your next job. But sometimes, you need to go with a gut feeling.

If you aspire to work somewhere truly creative – you need to take creative risks once in a while. Are you brave enough to do that..?