Team Visionary: Why Diverse Opinions Matter in the Creative Process
Do you work in an environment that supports varying opinions? Are you someone that is open to being challenged by other people’s viewpoints? Being receptive to everyone else around you is essential in order to progress through life and to reach goals, both personal and professional.
At Visionary, diversity in opinions fuel our best outcomes. We strip away the rules, knock down the barriers and allow people to feel comfortable coming forward with their unique ideas. Why? Because for the people who work here, we believe in their minds, their vision and their ability to put it into action for our clients and for one another.
I randomly selected a handful of co-workers, because in order to write a blog post about varying opinions, I figured it’d be best if I practiced what I preached and had them answer a simple question from their own vantage point.
Why or where do you find value in having a variety of opinions when coming up with creative solutions to problems?
(For the rest of this blog, I’ll turn the mic over to my genius, creative and innovative fellow Visionaries to answer. Take it away, guys!)
Having a variety of opinions when brainstorming creative solutions is important because it challenges us to think through any underlying, secondary problems we may encounter while thinking through the larger idea – such as time, technology and usability. This is generally where empathy and expertise are key in brainstorming process, and we can learn a lot about what will be integral to solving the problem and what may be “nice to have” features.
I very much believe in the power of more minds equals better solutions. A particular example where I really see diverse opinions contributing to a better product is when designing user experience. Current technologies have evolved to where we can offer a vast number of elegant interface designs, getting input from a range of users whom will be using the interface allowing the Visionary team to consider the vast range of user comfortability with technology and plan the interface to accommodate the end user.
Some people are more analytical and come at it form a logical perspective, whereas others are more creative and bring more out-of-the-box ideas to the group. It is great to have multiple opinions because one person will think of something that another person wouldn’t have thought of, which can spark new ideas and in turn creates a better final solution.
When it comes to solutions, the more the merrier. Everyone has a different perspective and that’s why it’s so important to have multiple team members with the ability to think differently, generate new ideas and spark creativity. I’ve found that some of the best ideas have been created in a group setting where one person’s ideas feeds another idea and so forth. It’s also interesting to include an outsider to the project for a possible fresh solution from a different level.
All people, even smart people, can get into a rut when it comes to thinking about a problem. Having a diverse group of people to draw from provides perspectives that would normally be missed by people thinking the same way.
It is important to have a wide range of opinions when coming up with solutions to problems because one person does not always see the whole picture. Each person comes to a problem with a different background and a different set of tools for addressing the problem. Diversity of opinions in creative problem solving can help find a more efficient, more elegant or a prettier solution than a single mind can come up with on their own.
For me, it’s not a matter of having a variety of opinions, but of having diverse opinions. I want to know how people of varying backgrounds see the problem. There is always value in having diverse opinions if what you actually want are others’ opinions. There are always going to be programs and tools that help us to test and try to understand how someone else might view a website, but until we actually get the site live and in the hands of those who will use it, we’re not going to get it 100% right. That’s why good focus groups and user testing are excellent resources in website development.
The definition of variety is ‘the state of being varied or diversified; difference, discrepancy; a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category.’ What would the world look like without variety? Sounds pretty boring to me. Unique experiences help shape ideas that are shared among the group. These ideas can be molded into something new with the help of fellow teammates; transforming variety into collaborations. The only way to produce innovative solutions (and to #BeVisionary!) is to be open and accepting to the magic of variety, considering and combining vastly different ideas with an open mind and, ultimately, integrating them into one fully-functioning solution.
Do you have a work environment that is open to a variety of opinions coming together to help make a more cohesive outcome? How would you answer that question above? What are you doing to help ensure that the diversity in opinions remains a priority in your workplace? Reach out and let us know!
Today and always, #BeVisionary!