The Carrot Blog

There is a lot of pressure to be creative.

Pinterest DIY boards, Etsy, the creative class, creative industries, creative ninjas - we're more obsessed with creativity than ever. However, IDEO founder David Kelley thinks the term "creative" can be more inclusive.

"You can go if you write a blog post," my boss said when I asked if I could go hear Kelley speak at Creative Mornings. I'm not a designer; I'm a producer. And things called Creative ____ are the realm of agency creatives; clearly I was just trying to blow off an hour of work and get free croissants.

Kelley is one of the biggest proponents that creativity can be taught, and an ever bigger proponent of how design thinking can impact fields beyond design itself. While the makers tend to focus on the what, Kelley encourages people to think of the who, what, where, why, when and how. The idea is that by embracing holistic thinking and tackling a problem from different perspectives, you will usually end up with a solution that goes beyond the original question. This applies to all disciplines - from those doing the actual designing to a budget wrangler, such as myself.

Kelley believes that holistic design thinking stems from creative confidence. And like marathons and alcohol tolerance, creative confidence arises from a "practice makes perfect" style commitment. Approaching the smallest problems with this mindset builds up the confidence to tackle bigger projects this way.

In advertising, we're rarely given carte blanche with a campaign; at minimum, the KPIs have been decided, and at times, the entire strategic concept is in place and we're simply being asked to bring it to life. But, by putting this type of holistic design thinking behind the simplest day-to-day decisions on all projects and in all departments, we build the creative confidence to tackle the bigger projects, and, in turn, provide better value to our clients. So when that dream project or dream client comes along, we'll be ready.