Project Management

Practicing to Be Creative

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Walking into an empty and barren room is analogous to what we all feel at some points during a project. Worse than a dark expanse that holds a mystery, a brightly lit and uncomplicated room is a point of exposure for us.

This is what it feels like as we try to approach new and unforeseen problems—vulnerable and looking around in the hope that maybe something is hidden in the blinding and blank canvas that will inspire us to action and direction. It can be mysterious and terrifying, just as it must feel if you were a sculptor moving toward a block of stone with chisel in hand.

This is how Twyla Tharp, renowned choreographer and author of The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, describes how beginning an endeavor and solving problems can be an experience that is humbling—and many seek to avoid. Creative professionals such as product developers and designers have to face these issues regularly as part of their job.

Being a creative solution maker, however, is not just the lightning bolt of inspiration though—lightning bolts are sporadic and unpredictable. To be creative in the workplace (and as needed) requires the development of a discipline or “habit,” as Tharp would have us believe. Having the spark when it is required means knowing how to build your internal processes in order to be creative.

Prepping your muse (without …

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"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

- Mark Twain