By the time Friday morning rolls around, I can sometimes be a sorry sight. When I finally force myself out of bed, I often feel like I’ve written an entire senior thesis in one night and have then been beaten with a piñata stick by a team of snotty-nosed fifth graders. In sum, I’m pretty tired. I usually sleep until the last possible second, miss breakfast, and then stumble into the office like a delirious zombie.
Last Friday, however, was different. I did NOT stumble into the office like a zombie because I attended a Creative Mornings session, where Wyeth Johnson of Epic Games talked about leading a team of creative minds in the office. In addition to hearing his inspiring words, I was holding a cup of Counter Culture coffee in one hand and an apple turnover from Crumb in the other. It was delightful.
The discussion focused on a few areas that really hit home, like the intersecting lines of creativity and constraints. When you work in a creative industry, your team is handed “a box full of constraints” every day. It’s easy to see them as frustrating obstacles; however, constraints are actually what allow you to get a project done. Without constraints, you’d have an overwhelming amount of freedom and possibility. In theory, endless possibilities might sound awesome. However, Wyeth stressed the importance of giving your team a box to think outside of, because that is what will end up fostering creativity and problem solving. Without any bounds, most projects are nearly impossible.
Wyeth had some other great thoughts about the importance of getting the right people on the bus from the start and how finding the intersection of trust and uncertainty with your clients is critical to fostering a good relationship. It was a great experience to be surrounded by a group of curious minds, and be reminded that mixing a business mindset with some creativity (or vice versa) will often lead to succes in the workplace.