Thursday, August 27, 2009

Creativity Tips: Let's Talk Team

Yesterday, Richard asked, "What do you look for in a creative team?" It's a great question. I look for people who:
  • Know things I don't -- whether it's sports, plumbing, or the structure of a sestina. Their perspectives prompt ideas/questions/possibilities I would never develop on my own. (A great example of this is my creative instigator buddy Mike Brown*. He and I have different areas of expertise, and we think very differently. We're a great team.)

  • Don't know anything about the topic at hand -- they won't worry about coming up with a foolish idea.

  • Don't need to be the center of attention -- because we're talking team.

  • Challenge me to do better, and applaud when I do -- because it's my team, gosh darn it, and I do need to be the center of attention. (No, seriously -- don't you think most of us rise to a challenge, and thrive on praise?)

  • Aren't in creative fields -- people who think creativity resides in a job title miss out on brilliant input from the receptionist, the accountant and the cleaning crew.

  • Are 7 years old or younger -- when they're all still artists and dancers and writers and athletes and everything is possible.

  • Laugh a lot -- because it's easier to be creative when you're having fun.

    Creative teams are dynamic -- and there's plenty of room for multiple teams. For example, I have one group I turn to for writing advice. A different group for decorating questions. And there are a few saints offering creative approaches to bring sanity to my personal life.

    I also consider everyone who reads this blog part of my creative team. You inspire me to write, five times a week. You ask questions that make me think. You send me links that make me laugh. Thank you! I hope you have some idea of how very much you mean to me.

    * Check out this post Mike did back in 2007 -- an oldie but a goodie on creative teams.

1 comment:

Angela Pritchett said...

You didn't mention attitude but I like a person with a good 'tude! Doesn't necessarily mean they have to be positive all the time but it helps that they look at problems or issues with the mind of a problem solver. Or how a challenge can be an opportunity.

Sorry I've been such a non-commenter lately. I'm still reading!