How do you move toward the creative edge of things?  Brainstorm?  Whiteboard?  Post-it palooza?  What are you doing to capture ideas and then keep things moving in the direction of better?  The folks over at the Catalyst Blog (a really creative bunch of people) have a helpful glimpse of the 5 elements that drive what is regarded as the most creative conference in the country:

1. Create – This is about brainstorming, but it is also about volume.  Imagine looking for 300 ideas for the creative elements of a conference!  It’s my observation that this kind of volume rarely happens because we’re settling too soon.  To get this kind of volume you’ll need to develop a "yes and" culture (as opposed to a "but or").

2. Criticize – This is big.  Think about your creative meetings.  What happens when an idea is criticized?  Can you imagine a culture where critique was not only welcomed, but expected?  Wanted?

3. Optimize – What if there was an expectation that every good idea could be built on?  What if you asked "how can it be better?"

4. Validate – Does the idea line up with the vision?  Is it consistent with what you’re trying to do?  If not, does anyone have the courage to say no?

5. Execute – Creativity and innovation aren’t enough.  Executing on what you’ve planned is the payoff.  Creating, critiquing, optimizing, and validating are all great…but it’s the execution that makes it worth while.

Thanks to Sets ‘n’ Service for their link to the original post.

Turning Ideas Into Reality