Creative Problem: Too Many Ideas

When you are playing the Explorer, once you really get going generating ideas, you can sometimes run into the problem of knowing where to stop. Or even figuring out how to stop. If you feel like you are flooded with ideas and have no idea which one to focus on, it’s time to re-set.

Back to Why

Take a pause and re-consider why you are creating this thing. What’s the purpose? Who is the audience? What do they want or need from this? What is the intended impact? Answering these questions helps ground the process. Write this down.

Sort

Now that you have re-set the project. Sort the ideas. Take each one and evaluate them based on the questions you answered. Put them into three piles: yes, no, and maybe. The “no” pile you can always use for later, but remove them from view for now. The “maybe” pile you can keep around if you need it. Start with the “yes” pile and use this pile first as present the ideas to the Artist. 

Deadline

If you find yourself getting lost creating more ideas without a sense of urgency, set a deadline for presentation to the Artist. This will bring some focus and keep you on track. 

Presentation to Artist

As the Explorer, your job is not just to come up with ideas but to present them to the Artist. Even as you do this, greater clarity can come. Look for new insights in the process of presenting each idea and showing its merits. Also, listen for signs of resonance with the Artist. This is what will guide your inquiry as you go back to the “maybe” pile looking for more good candidates.

Why It Works

Concentrating on what really matters helps weed out the bad ideas and get clarity on the good ones. In the end, it’s not a great idea that you need, it’s a good-enough idea that really fits the purpose at hand.

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