I spend a lot of my time working with technology and digital solutions, so whenever I have a project or problem my first thought is to jump on the computer to try to come up with a solution. Computers are very good at some tasks but often they can get in the way. At the creative or concept stage of a project there is a need for spontaneity – moving from the glass-box into the black-box for a moment.
Another problem can be the tabula rasa effect – we have all had that moment of panic, staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering where to start – even worse is looking at a computer screen or spreadsheet with your mental cogs whirring but unable to make the connection. I was once asked by a colleague what the most useful project management tool was (I think he was looking for advice on software) – I’m afraid my answer was to show him a pencil and a Post-it note.
In workshops and coaching sessions with clients, I now never use a computer, favouring instead a big sheet of paper or flip chart and a fistful of markers. Another technique I often used was card-sorting which is such a simple idea but so effective, it led me to extend the idea to planning and publish my own sets of planning cards. I’m now looking to extend that simple idea to branding projects, starting with cards for brand archetypes.