October 4, 2018

The Let It Go Issue

Precious. If you immediately think of Gollum in Lord of the Rings, hold that thought. Because Gollum’s obsessive attachment to the Ring is just the sort of thing that can keep your idea/design/business in the dark for a long time…

When applied to design, “precious”—the practice of falling in love fast with a single solution—can lead to mediocre outcomes, or even failure. What seems perfect to you may not resonate with a broader audience.

Accepting feedback constructively is hard. (Remember your last performance review?) If you are a designer—whether of logos, products, ads, or entire businesses—you probably have pride of ownership in your designs.

Get over it. The more precious you are about your designs, the less you learn about what works. One of Spark’s designers (hi, Shelby!) often mentions that one of the most useful things she learned in school was how to accept negative feedback.

How to achieve objectivity nirvana? We like testing a range of ideas with different audiences and using data to determine the winners. It tends to remove the emotion from the process. Other people like starting with a huge number of concepts so that it’s harder to get attached. Still others like building stuff and then destroying it. Read on for ways to avoid Gollum’s fate…

Many Called, Few Chosen

The theory: innovation processes that start with a lot of ideas are more likely to hatch some great results than those that start with just a few.
The practitioner: IDEO, that bastion of design thinking.
The advice for you: how to brainstorm better. (Hint: more is better.)

Moving Past Precious

Ready to put your ideas out for feedback? Better get in shape first—emotional shape, that is. Here, EQ aficionado Justin Bariso tees up some advice on getting ready to accept input on your ideas, performance, what-have-you…deep breaths, everyone.

Resilience Rehearsal

Realizing that you don’t have to have such a siloed and linear career trajectory. Having the opportunity to be a part of various aspects of how a business grows Brave enough to take on your ego? Do as the monks do: spend a solid week creating something magnificent. Then—boom!—destroy it, with ceremony. The challenge seems daunting, but the lesson of impermanence may come in handy for your next project.

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