LEGOs are awesome.
My son has just made the jump from the Duplo sets to what he calls “little LEGOs” and I have been sucked in as well.
With a pile of multicolored bricks of every shape and size strewn across his playroom, we begin shaping creations only limited by our imaginations.
But as the constructs become more complicated, daddy realizes the most amazing builds need to be guided: with a plan.
Same goes in the business world. You can’t possibly accomplish something without thinking it through and devising a plan first.
So here’s what building LEGOs has taught me:
1. Understand what you want to accomplish. What are you trying to create and why? What should the finished product look like and how much room do you want/need to leave for spontaneous creativity? In my world, balancing planning and unforseen opportunities for creativity is a good mix.
2. Have the raw materials and the time you need to do the job. Do you have what you need to make your vision come to life? Can you create what you need to in the time allotted? Do you need to make changes based on either of these criteria, and will the changes negatively affect the final product?
3. Sketch out the final product and the steps needed to get there. Before you put the roof on the house (or the satellite dish on the moon base) you need walls, doors and windows in place first. Those walls need to be strong enough to support what’s being piled on top of it, and they need to stand up straight.
4. Execute with joy. Get to doin’ and make your thing. Keep moving ahead; don’t get stuck on a detail or you will never get to the end. Quality check every step. Have fun as you go, otherwise you will rush to the end and make mistakes along the way.
5. Share and make them happy. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving your creation to your little construction buddy for him to play with. Similarly, deliver the fruits of your labor to your client. Savor the smile.
How do you balance creativity and planning?
(P.S. Why is Planning not the King? Because everyone knows the Queen is the one who is really in charge.)