Break the ruler!

I hear people say “break the rules” all the time, when talking about creativity.  I agree breaking the rules is certainly one of the ways to be creative.  You could argue that if you don’t break some rule somewhere, can it really be creative?

I absolutely believe in breaking the rules. As long as you’re willing to break the ruler, that is.

Let me explain by walking you through what happens in a good many of the brainstorming sessions my fellow Before & After creative thinking coaches and I facilitate.  Typically we distill the best, freshest ideas throughout the session, building our short list, as it were.  At the end of the day we revisit this short list, which if we’ve done our job right, is rather long, and we do a final distillation to get to THE short list, THE action list.

The problem that too often happens is that when distilling to this final list, people often forget to break the ruler that measures these rule-breaking ideas.  The effect is that the freshest new ideas frequently get filtered out in the final screening process.  So much for breaking the rules.

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