6

Creating something, and especially trying to create many things, isn’t a 100% proposition. It’s not as if everything you work on will fit in your final creative product. Also, not every effort you start will be completed. Along the way, you’re going to generate quite a bit of creative residue or leftovers – false starts, near misses, and big creative swings where you fall short of the big results you’d expected.

If you’re going to create, you’re going to create creative residue along the way.

In the midst of creating, you need to be comfortable with leaving creative residue behind. But that’s not to say you might not be able to take advantage of these leftovers later. Attempting to get value out of creative residue is the reason we have:

  • Director’s cut DVDs
  • Extra songs on compilation records
  • Sequels to popular works of art
  • Posthumous creative output, including books, music, films, etc.

If you’re up for it, keeping creative residue around can pay off down the line.

Barrett and I had done the strategic thinking ten years ago for a plan on how you could donate time to a Kansas City civic cause for a huge brainstorming session event. We’d gone pretty far down the path of thinking through the strategy on who you’d invite, how large the brainstorming session would be, how to get people in Kansas City to participate, and the media impact it could have.

Unfortunately, the specific civic effort we were working on never got off the ground, and our strategic thinking appeared to have been for naught.

But when Kansas City officials voiced the challenge to come up with ideas for how Google Fiber could be used for economic development and changing lives after its introduction, the first thing that ran through my mind was the strategic thinking we’d done and how it could be applied to this new opportunity for a huge brainstorming session. From our decade old thinking, the Building the Gigabit City partnership to brainstorm Google Fiber with Social Media Club of Kansas City was born.

If I hadn’t kept our civic meeting creative residue around, I wouldn’t have been so fast to jump on the huge Google Fiber Gigabit City brainstorming session opportunity.

Creative residue shoots and scores!

So keep as much of yours around as you can stand. If you’re already doing that, how are you keeping it fresh and usable for when you need it? – Mike Brown

 

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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6 Responses to “Creating from Creative Residue – Brainstorming for Later Use”

  1. good way to think about it all the excess creative output we generate that does not have an immediate purpose. It all becomes part of our body of work and becomes a resource to draw upon – assuming it takes some tangible form as a record, my challenge is to remember where I have it and hope its not stored on an old 5 1/4 inch disc. Thanks Mike great post!

  2. Mukesh Gupta says:

    Where and how do you store your creative residue (as you said)? it would also be good to understand your system.. Could help me design my own system.. 

  3. What a great post about the creative residue concept. I’d never thought about it quite in that way before. The “residue” I generate is stored in journals, idea folders, and current writings.

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