Creativity takes a certain degree of confidence, doesn’t it? It requires vulnerability, the uncertainty of what might come out and where it will end up. But how do you find that confidence that allows you to jump into something new? We sat down with Moon Creative Lab’s Chief Creative Officer, Mike Peng, to hear his take on finding creative confidence.
Innovation is all about creating something new to the world, and often, the way to get there means you need to do things differently. If you do things in the typical way, you will likely get typical results. “You have to use different processes and different tools to achieve out-of-the-box thinking,” Mike says.
“The only way you can do that is to utilize creativity – creative tools, creative processes, and most importantly, a creative mindset. Doing so will enable you to get to an outcome that maybe wasn’t originally imaginable, which is exactly what innovation is all about. ”
The key to manifesting creativity is to ensure that you are fostering diversity. At Moon, experts in design, engineering, product, operations, and more come together to offer their unique perspectives. It’s this collaboration and exploring through others that allows creativity to thrive, which is something Mike is passionate about. “I think creative collaboration is really, really exciting. When you bring together different types of people who each have different backgrounds, skills, and experiences, you’re able to get different perspectives on the same problem. When you have different perspectives all working together, you can come up with something that’s way more interesting in the end, better than if you were to have done it alone.”
Experimentation is another key to creativity, and an experiment isn’t always perfect. “We introduce tools like quick prototyping. I think oftentimes we try and perfect the thing we’re trying to create and wait until the very end to launch. But what we do at Moon is a rougher version, a rawer version that we can test into the world, learn quickly from it, and then re-launch an even better version.” So creativity can sometimes be scrappy and imperfect? Got it!
Mike mentioned the importance of a creative mindset, but what does that mean? In some ways, it means being okay with not knowing what it means! “When you’re trying to create something new, we actually have no idea what the ‘right’ answer is. In school, we’re typically taught that there’s always a right answer and a wrong answer. But applying a creative mindset means that we’re going into the problem being okay not knowing what the answer is. We need to explore, try new things, embrace ambiguity. We need to remind ourselves to be okay with not knowing. I know it’s really hard, but that’s one of the things that I think is key to being creative,” Mike explains. “Often, we’re waiting for people to tell us which direction is right and which is wrong, but utilizing a creative mindset means you’re going to suspend judgment and explore options.”
“We’ve been able to apply a lot of different types of creativity to Moon’s projects,” Mike says. “This involves a lot of exploration and experimentation. Sometimes we launch a simple website just to see if potential customers are interested and will sign up! The thought is that if they do, that’s a great indication of traction. You know that we’re onto something. But that’s something you normally wouldn’t do, right? In most cases, you wouldn’t ever create a webpage until you’re actually done with a product, right?”
Creative confidence sounds like the reassurance we need to be unsure. To be open to the unknown, not always knowing the answers, and making just about anything, never striving for perfection. Remember, being creative and innovative means doing something new and discovering what’s possible.
Jump in. Find inspiration through others. Get scrappy. Experiment. And be ready for new possibilities. Creativity can be scary, but it’s the only way to create something new. As Mike encourages, “Embrace the ambiguity of not knowing what the answer is and then be open to what those potential solutions can be. I think that’s really exciting.”
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