Jedi Ideation Trick

If you put effort into your work, there’s something in it to salvage. But how to do so?

Do you have to like your marketing and branding materials? Yes. All of them. Your pride in them should be infectious. Because they are useful, entertaining, galvanizing, and yes, nice to look at.

Too bad you just hate your own brand sometimes, because whether you like it or not, you have one 😊.

Case in point – let’s say you’ve written LinkedIn bios for yourself and your company. And you don’t like them. So you rewrite. And you like it less. Rewrite. Repeat. Now how do you feel? Annoyed, frustrated, bitter. Derailed.

This is the self-perpetuating cycle in which happiness is linked to creativity.

So do you throw it away and start from scratch? Maybe. But do you really start from scratch? Because now the thing that made you cringe is stuck in your mind, even if your slate is clean and your edit window is blank.

It’s stuck in your mind and has demoralized your creativity. This isn’t uncommon in creative work and paralyzes marketing efforts among entire teams.

Here’s the problem: ideas stop flowing.  

Manufacture enthusiasm

The quality of a marketing campaign, or a product design, or a consultation – the quality of each is roughly equivalent to the amount of good ideas that go into it.

We make a big deal out of expertise, but an expert’s mind can fall flat sometimes too. Anyone’s mind can. Expertise doesn’t do much if it’s not yielding good ideas.

Let’s review some of the primary idea-stifling culprits:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of context
  • Lack of deep research
  • Mental busyness
  • Lack of live conversation, especially in-person
  • Negative feelings

I have it on good anecdotal authority that all of the above proliferate during global pandemics.

Fortunately, art critic Peter Schjeldahl has a trick for us that addresses, if nothing else, at least the last item on the list.

When he comes across something in his work he can’t figure out how to like, or how to appreciate, or even understand, he asks himself:

“What would I like about this if I liked it?”

So those new LinkedIn bios that make you cringe – what you would like about them if you liked them? 

My best,