Getting off the script (breaking patterns and routines) is where creativity, spontaneity and innovation lie. Steve jobs had a concept called “Unplanned Collaborations” where his employees from all different departments would bounce ideas off of one another throughout the workday unannounced, unplanned and unscripted.
Mr. Jobs purposefully designed the atrium at Pixar to include all the bathrooms so people from all different departments would be forced to co-mingle throughout the day. Therefore, employees from the payroll department would talk to people who worked in animation, animation which would talk to engineers, and the list goes on and on. Jobs went on to say that some of the greatest ideas and creations at Pixar happened in these unplanned collaborations, not at the planned/ scheduled meeting throughout the week.
I do one to two unplanned collaborations a week with an owner of staffing firm at my office in Dublin, Ohio. There is something about a spontaneous and unannounced meeting that is vibrant, alive and refreshing. Not knowing or planning for a meeting allows both parties to be in the moment and improvising. This ability to “free style” with one another is where the magic happens, this is where the creative energies take shape.
These unplanned collaborations provide creative value for me in that I get perspectives about my business that are much different than with individuals in my same industry. The owner of the staffing firm constantly gives me out of the box ideas that change the way I think of marketing, how I am going to title my second book, and the future of my acting studio. In short, I find this man one of the most creative people I talk to throughout the week and I believe part of the reason why is our ability to improvise on the spot with these unplanned collaborations.
How much of the day do you get off the script? Creativity can’t be planned, pre-arranged or fit into a box, it happens spontaneously. Try an unplanned collaboration and compare it with your normal meetings and see the difference for yourself. The planned meeting will be scripted, censored and boxed in, while the unplanned meeting will be unscripted, uncensored and free.
* Chad J. Willett is a motivational speaker, author and creative expert. He writes a weekly blog to unleash our creative energies.