Friday, June 27, 2008

Fix and Flex Part 2

I received a great response from our first installment on the "Fix and Flex" concept. On of our facebook group members asked the following question and I wanted to take a minute and process it with you.

"Jon -- Cool. Sounds like being goal oriented. For me, that is a strong motivator...but what about other creative types that are not particularly goal oriented...who prefer to feel the flow. Any tips? Any tips for those to whom they would be accountable?"

Here are some thoughts:

When we talk about fixing one thing and flexing another, we usually thing dates/times/etc. Those are very linear things that we wish we could fix on both ends. The innovation of fix and flex is that we pick the most important one to success and then the other side of the equation stays loose and able to change.

But lets think about this in a different way for creatives who aren't at all driven by linear goals. You can also do this with very conceptual things. For instance, let's say that you are a graphic designer and you are tasked with creating a series of postcards to promote an upcoming event. The normal process is to receive the scope for the project from whoever is requesting it and then begin to work based on that scope. But what if the designer looked at the scope and asked the question, "Which element of the scope is most central?" Out of this exercise they might pick one or two things to fix. Then they could process, what areas are open for new ideas or new approaches - those are the areas to flex.

Now comes along the manager of this graphic designer. If you are using the same vocabulary, the manager who is holding this graphic designer accountable can engage them and ask what things must be fixed and what areas can the designer really try some new and different approaches.

In this environment, a designer can create an innovative environment while still being accountable for the scope.

What do you think of this next application?

2 comments:

Ty Stakes said...

so communication is key no matter how you slice it! broadly applicable to all our interactions, no?

Ed Weaver said...

I would ask the same question of oral learners - as it pertains to those non-linear, non-readers. This could be those in the US that have learned a different way, or in the third world that may never have learned to read. We understand these people to be non-linear in their thinking, yet brilliant. Thoughts?