I like to put all my ideas on the wall, where I can gauge them more objectively. When we keep our ideas in our lap, on our note pad or on our computer, we protect them too much. We grade them on a curve and keep them from getting the fresh air of objectivity.
Putting ideas up encourages us to come up with more—to fill up the wall. It nags us to keep thinking when we would’ve given up otherwise.
Letting others in the office see the work invites the possibility of “yikes, that’s stupid” but it also invites “wow that’s cool, I wish I did that.” (Don’t mistake this for “showing off” your ideas prematurely. As Ernest Hemingway said, “when you talk too much about it, you lose it.” )
The wall invites the chance that someone outside your group (or your comfort zone) may make a connection with your idea you hadn’t thought of.
It nags us to keep thinking when we would’ve given up otherwise.
Work on the wall also strengthens the culture of the agency, inviting people in other departments or in support positions to take part in the process, and pride in it as well.
A lot of agencies and studios do this, but many don’t. My favorite places are full of rough ideas, sketches, tissues and works in progress. They remind me that the glorious, pristine final creative product is not possible without the messy, uncertain work of trying things and risking defeat.
Embrace the mess, the uncertainty and the risk. Build the wall.