Creative Strategy
March 18, 2021

Creative collaboration embraces misunderstanding.

Open Reference

Part of the creative collaboration process is misinterpretation.

Collaboration in the creative space has some magic to it, not because communication is perfect but because a set of people embrace that it is imperfect. In the gaps of interpretation, people look for a new way to see their work, and new ideas emerge.

When people work together to find new ideas, we call it brainstorming. It's very common for one person to offer an idea,  then another person will paraphrase their understanding, and the result is a complete misinterpretation. In a lot of human communication, the next step is to correct a person and explain again. In brainstorming, there is another path; the misinterpretation may spark something new. You'll hear, "no, but that makes me think of something else!"

In this way, creative collaboration embraces misunderstanding.

Brainstorming is an odd process, hard to predict, like the weather.

Things I've found helpful when collaborating to find new ideas:
• Hold back judgment of ideas while generating them.
• When you see yourself judging, hunt for an underlying limit or reason you can question.
• Remember you already know your ideas, make space for others to share their ideas. (your hunting for what's new, not proving anything)
• Keep kicking ego out of the room.
• Be clear about end goals; generate ideas is much different than solving problems.
• Go for a walk before you start.

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