Designing training is quite a creative thing. Yes – there are some things that you can do to progress the creation of a course when your brain isn’t in it, but when creativity strikes BOOM!! You work so much more quickly and what you create is so much better.
I’ve just experienced this in a non-work capacity. In my lunch break, I decided to go and pick the raspberries (we have so many growing!!), and whilst I was outside, allowing my mind to wander, I suddenly knew how I wanted to re-design the garden. It’s been something we’ve been talking about for about a year, but despite looking in magazines, searching on-line, going round garden centres and so on, we didn’t move our thinking on much. But little ideas have been stored here and there.
Last week, we found ourselves watching an episode Springwatch. We weren’t even giving it our full attention, but there was a small item on creating a nature garden in a small, urban space. What a nice idea I thought, but that was it.
However, today, as I finished picking the raspberries, I turned and looked at my rectangular lawn and dilapidated shed and tatty patio, and saw with some clarity what it could be. I quickly sketched it out. The fine details will of course need to be worked out – I’m not sure if a water feature will be practical where I’ve suggested it for example, the proportions may not be quite right, and of course, budget is a consideration. BUT, I now know what I want to do. The nature garden was the final piece of the solution I’d been waiting for.
As a training designer I’m always collecting ideas – most of the time, it’s unconscious – though I’ve been encouraged to start being a bit more systematic about it. The best solutions can’t be forced (though a good solution can be – we’ve all worked hard to deliver results against tight deadlines after all), but when you have the luxury of waiting for the right solution to come to you, it’s worth it.
And it made me think, what can we do (as learning and training designers and managers) to harness creativity and make those “ah-ha!” moments work for us? How do store and access our interesting thoughts to bring them forth at the opportune moment? How do we balance creativity with deadlines, project plans and systems?
I’ve no answer for this one, so I throw it open to you. I’d love to hear your comments.
As for the garden, I just need to sell the design to my husband!