To be creative at work, you need strong foundations. The act of generating a new idea and seeing it through to fruition requires personal commitment, perseverance, vulnerability, risk and often conflict.
Ideas in their early stages are fragile like newborns. They need nurturing and protecting. They can be trampled or discarded just as they draw breath, and before they have a chance to flower. At every stage they need to prove themselves – to team mates, to clients, to partners, to influencers and to their audience. As a creative, it’s your role to see that idea blossom – to conceive it, to give it substance, to validate it, to realize it and to evangelize it. A good idea is a personal journey. We put a part of ourselves into our best ideas, and in so doing, make ourselves vulnerable.
There’s a part of us in that idea which is tossed around so freely in front of our peers. There’s a part of us in the idea which must get buy-in from the client. There’s a part of us which gets changed as the idea goes beyond our initial conception. There’s part of us which gets rejected in its early forms. And there’s a part of us which feels validated when the idea takes flight.
It can be a brutal process, which is why we need strong foundations. We need the support of our team to venture an idea without judgment or ridicule. We need the support of our managers who trust our intuition. We need permission to fail. We need a culture which encourages discussions without rancor. One which celebrates the act of creativity, respects its demands and honors the results.
Creativity needs solid foundations.