If it ain’t broke, it might still be worth breaking…

…Or at least breaking a little bit…

I read this today, it is good: Margaret Boden’s ‘The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms‘, it’s good. talks about links between human creative processes and those of computers, asking can computers be creative? My top Boden topic though, as I’ve alluded to in previous posts, is creative boundaries. Just thought it was a good hook:


If it ain’t broke: It might still be worth breaking. Boundaries are there to be bent: they are malleable, they have plasticity and sometimes they can be broken. Breaking boundaries sounds all very nice and maverick, but boundaries may be as simple as communication gaps between departments or individuals, cultural boundaries between local worlds, or simply boundaries that have ‘become’ through culture, tradition, laziness…

So try and share some mutuality of experience with your co-workers, with your gran, with your mates girlfriend who you don’t really get on with – and see what you can do with the boundaries that exist (that doesn’t mean try and snog your mates girlfriend or do your boss’ job; it means try stepping into their reality tunnel, try thinking how they think or just do something differently. This is how creative processes can become evolutionary, dynamic and thus remain innovative as opposed to stagnant or foreign.

Break stuff.


Managing the Creative Process: Boundaries, Ownership and Expectations

This is a paper I’m writing at the moment. Was looking for any thoughts.

Specifically it looks at managing the Creative Process with regard to Boundaries, Ownership and Expectations. That is, ‘boundaries’ between individuals / disciplines / strategies / organisations / cultures, and the ‘boundary objects’ linking them; ‘ownership’ as in how vested individuals or organisations are in a particular project / brand; and expectations as in managing expectations.

Further, the paper looks at intra-agency processes, and how issues of boundaries and disparities between ‘local worlds’ (eg different divisions within the organisation; different organisations) can affect the delivery of creative services in a sort of ‘Chinese Whispers’ sense. It attempts to remove the general consideration of ‘creativity’ as a ‘black-boxed’ process, with a ‘crudely imposed supply chain logic’ (Bilton, 2006) and more generally to integrate the ideas of ‘creativity’ and ‘management’.

This general idea is then extended to include inter-agency processes, and how the complexities underpinning the delivery of creativity extend vertically and horizontally through the value chain considering, for example, managing client expectations, and managing ownership over a project both at an individual and organisational level.