Wonderland
Opinion

Let creativity flow, with all its twists and turns

How we enable the best ideas to come through in the first place.

By Theo de Monchy Senior Client Manager and Strategist

In our last article, we discussed how our Wonderlanders overcome creative blocks, sharing the different approaches they turn to when they feel creatively stuck or are unable to find a solution they’re happy with. What we didn’t discuss is how we enable the best ideas to come through in the first place. 

As we’re sure the creatives reading this will agree, and it’s far from an easy task to interpret what a client or project manager wants and then translate that into a creative expression that everyone is happy with. Throw in a few deadlines, someone on holiday, and maybe an unexpected request from a different project, and you have all the makings of a challenging project. For some people, this is where they thrive, while for others it becomes stressful and can remove their inspiration. 

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Within the Wonderland team, our Project Managers work incredibly hard to avoid crunch as much as possible for our creatives, as we don’t believe its condusive to good work, or fair on them as our friends and colleagues. Instead, we’re transparent with clients and let them know if we need more time for our creatives, or if requests fall out of scope. 

In return, our creatives return the favour by trusting each other. By this, we mean they use the extra time to bounce ideas off and challenge each other. By adding a small degree of pressure to a work culture where team mates know each others strengths and weaknesses, they are able to unify their skills and move us towards an overall greater whole. By now, many of you reading will be among the millions of people to have watched the video of Sir Paul McCartney playing erroneous notes on his guitar until he arrives at what would ultimately become the Beatles famous song Get Back. In a way, the video shows what we’re trying to explain here. McCartney has the freedom and trust of his bandmates to explore and experiment with music, despite their looming deadline, until he finds something that sounds and feels right. This is what we enable among our creatives, allowing them to communicate openly and rely on and unify their individual strengths to create a challenging and exciting end deliverable for our client, or clients. 

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At the end of the day, what it boils down to is trust. Good work can happen alone, but great work is often the result of someone trusting someone else, and believing in something that doesn’t yet exist. It’s the human factor in the equation that makes good work great, and great work amazing, and in a world that is changing almost daily, the reliance on team mates needs to remain constant. For us, it’s a tribe of coffee-fuelled creative magicians who we trust to be free when they create, just like they want to be.

We recoginse that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to enabling and encouraging creativity, and what works for us might not work for others. As we mentioned in our future vision for design studios article, we’re revising the way we run our studio, and how we approach and deliver work. Central to this change is the ways in which we give our teams the creative freedom and trust to deliver work to the best of their abilities. That said, we’re far from perfect, and we very much view this approach as iterative, and to that end we’re curious about how others approach such challenges. If you have a different approach, or just want to chat creativity and design, we’d love to hear from you at hello@wonderlandams.com.

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