Creativity is important
Some skills have always been more relevant to learn than others. Time has a lot to do with skill being relevant to learn or not. For example, our ancestors needed to learn hunting and survival skills just to stay alive. Nowadays we need to learn all kinds of different things just to be “good enough” in this world.
One skill has been very helpful for humans throughout our existence – creativity. We have gotten so much information about the past just from the wall paintings and art. The creative minds have captured the most important happenings in our history. A creative mind can also create solutions to problems that we humans are facing.
Creativity was also a big part of my studies in The Netherlands. I took this minor called Artful Business Creations. In that minor, we got to know all the senses and ways to use them to our advantage when presenting something to people. We were also using Kees Dorst’s Frame creation theory to get to the best outcome when doing our assignments.
The Frame creation model has nine steps to follow;
Archaeology is the first step. You will have to do a lot of research on your client and the problem. Write down everything you know about your client and the problem. Has someone already tried to come up with a solution to that problem? If yes, then find out how and why and use their data.
The second step is Paradox. In this one, you will have to think about why this problem is so hard to solve. Are there any things that make this problem even harder to solve? Just try to find the core paradox here.
The third one is called Context. Here we need to find the key stakeholders. The people who are affected or can affect the outcome of the problem. Try to find the inner circle of the stakeholders.
The fourth step is called Field. Here you just widen up the context part. Try to think of anyone who can be a part of your problem. Think of their feelings as well. Are there any things that your stakeholders have to think of every day? Are these things important regarding the problem?
The fifth step is called Themes. By interviewing and researching the stakeholders you will get a lot of information about their lives and the feelings they feel during a normal day. With this data you can start creating different themes among the stakeholders. You need these themes to understand your audience and the people involved with the problem.
After the fifth step, you have your Frames, the ways to look at your problem. Now you should have more points of view. Frames help you to come up with a solution that helps all the stakeholders.
The next three steps are called Futures, transformation, and integration. After applying a frame, you should be able to see if the solution is something that really works and lasts in the future. Then think of ways how the transformation is going to happen, what can be done now and what are the long-term goals. Finally, you can integrate your frames. (Dorst, 2015, 74-79.)
This approach – the Frame creation model is something different than usual. It is very hard to master since the language used in the book is not easy to read. We also did have a crash course about the theory, but a three-day-course is not going to do much. Even if you don’t know the theory perfectly you can still use just some of the steps. You don’t always have to do them all if just one is enough, it might be just the right amount of creativity that you need.
We used this method when working for our assignment provider, a very big internet provider in The Netherlands. Our group had to come up with a social campaign with a viral effect to promote a partnership between them and a new client. At first, it felt like it was almost impossible to implement this method into the assignment but then one of us really made sense of it and showed us how to use it. That’s team learning for you.
In the end the method is fairly easy, but the book is very hard to read. That may lead to frustration but it’s just part of it. Stopping for a while and really thinking about the steps helps when you hit a wall.
An important skill
As said in the beginning creativity is very important and should be taught at schools. If you google “skills needed in the 2020’s”, you will find that creativity is one of the most important one. It’s usually the 3rd one on the list. Why?
The world is changing all the time and people must adapt to those changes. A creative mindset helps you to find ways to use all the new inventions. It helps you to take an issue and solve it the way you want it to be solved. We need more and more creativity in the world. We need the people who leads us in creative ways. We need people who show us how it’s done. We need people who have the guts to do things differently.
It is not always easy to try to be creative. It’s not easy to be creative either. Sometimes it might be best to look at things with a “normal” vision. How can you use the normal way of looking at things if you are used to looking at things in a different way? It’s easy, just have a friend, a group, a team with you. Look at things and compare the ways you see something. Learn from others and let them learn from you.
All in all, being creative and finding creative solutions is something that we need in the future. People are starting to appreciate creative minds more and more. The problems we face are usually so complex that we need to have a creative approach. It is not enough to look at problems as what they are anymore. We need to go deeper. We need to find ways to prevent these problems and we need to be aware that the problems might still need some further investigation after the solution. So just accepting that the solutions we have and make today might not work tomorrow anymore is a key thing to understanding creative problem-solving.
Dorst, K. 2015. Frame Innovation. London: The MIT Press.