Creative technique: 1-2-3

Conception, ideation, implementation. And iteration.

Simplify: make your process a 1-2-3. First: set the context and prepare to work; second: develop your idea; third: package the final deliverable.

Sometimes we get lost in complication. We love to lose ourselves to the dance of complexity. It could be nice to live romantically in a floating world, a never-ending experience. But when poetry and romance are not fitting your constraints, better making it simple.

Think about writing:

1. Start with a catchy, brief, and impactful opening, stating the value of what you’re going to say.

2. Develop your idea. Sometimes you have three or four paragraphs to tell a story or to illustrate some examples.

3. Close with a bang! Restate your crucial point, reinforce, and call-to-action.

Think about teaching:

1. I tell you, and you listen

2. I tell you, and you do it

3. You do it, and I watch.

Simplicity helps to understand linearly. It also promotes iteration, and since “repetita juvant,” the more your repeat, the better you learn (with the right feedback loop, of course).

Think about designing:

1. Set your problem, learn your users.

2. Generate ideas, prototype, test, and refine.

3. Develop the final solutions and assess their validity.

It’s a simplification, yes, it is, but the creative exercise of summarizing in three points pushes you to be practical and pragmatical.

Think about exploring:

1. Explore the environment, understand the context.

2. Make a move, without getting hurt, in any direction. Test waters.

3. See what happens, react, adapt, and iterate.

There are so many frameworks inspired by those three steps, and you’ll find so many famous names directly bound to that: OODA, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Systemic Design, and Einstein knows what other.

Be brief in anything you do. When you can’t, play this game: can you say it and do it in 1-2-3? You’ll exercise your brevity, conciseness, and summarizing skills. First: set the problem; two: develop possibilities; three, implement, test, and iterate. Four: have fun.

Conception, ideation, implementation. And iteration.
Conception, ideation, implementation. And iteration.

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