Mess is a composition of stuff, however, it is also a vital part of the creative process.  The creative process is a messy one in and of itself.  It is writing, rewriting, brainstorming, erasing, and finally coming up with inspiration.  Groups that make a “mess” on their white board are much more likely to be creative than groups whose whiteboard is clean.

An organization with a messy whiteboard allows all ideas to be posted and discussed.  It is not worried about limiting, censoring or restricting ideas regardless of their logic or reasoning.  Messy whiteboard organizations take pride in allowing all voices and ideas to be heard and posted so all feel part of the creative process.  More importantly, messy whiteboard organizations know the key to creativity is planting seeds during meetings for innovation and inspiration.  Innovative companies embrace crazy, audacious, and risky ideas and put them up on the board to be discussed at a later time.

An organization with a clean whiteboard allows only CERTAIN ideas to be posted and discussed.  It limits censors and restricts ideas as team members share them in meetings.  Clean whiteboard companies take pride in discipline and censoring voices and ideas so only a few are part of the creative process.  More importantly, clean whiteboard organizations value the status quo and keeping processes and procedures in place more than creativity and innovation.  While ideas that are crazy, audacious and risky are left off the board and replaced by ideas that are logical, linear and safe.

What does your group’s whiteboard look like?