The skills we teach deliver real ROI.

How to Encourage Innovation and Creativity: Part 3 – Continuous Feedback

by: Chris Knotts, PMP – ASPE Creative Director

This week we’re offering insights into how professional creatives keep the mojo flowing. Nurture the pillars of creativity in your day to day work, and the rest will follow.

Part 3: Cycles of continuous feedback are vital to refine your initial creative effort

Yesterday we concluded our post by mentioning the process of evaluation. Today let’s look at that a little more. This is a critical step, and it’s all part of the creative process of panning for gold we discussed yesterday. Once you’ve gotten into a space where you can spit out nuggets, come up with ideas, record your thoughts, etc, this is where the real gold panning happens. You need peers, colleagues, and confidants to evaluate your progress. Most of you have somebody like this involved with your work effort. If this is a weak area for you, strengthen it. Ask whoever has a moment for you to critique your work and suggest improvements.  Ask your wife; ask your husband. Ideally, every person on your project team should be giving you feedback on your ideas.

This is an iterative process. You’ve brainstormed, you’ve generated as many candidates as you can in coming up with solutions to your problem, and you’re ready to zero in on developing the real solution. You’ve trashed 90 percent of your bad ideas and you’re left with the remaining 10 percent. You’ve winnowed those down, you’ve taken a hard look at them, and you’ve picked the 1 or the 2 or the 3 that you think have winning potential. Now you do the work. Work up a spreadsheet. Work up a sketch. Work up a model. Take it to your colleagues and submit it for review. Even if you’re the highest level whiz-kid in the world, someone will have something of value to offer which didn’t occur to you. Even if you’re the most creative person in the world with the best ideas on the most regular basis, I can assure you that the most mundane mid level unimaginative worker will have something constructive to say about your idea. There’s no substitute for a fresh pair of eyes on your work, no matter how much of an ace you are. So take that feedback, accumulate it, take a structured look at it, and then go back to work. Repeat this process as much as your schedule will allow.

Thanks for reading our blog series on creative insights. Every day this week we’re looking at creative advice for creative work. In the meantime, we want to hear about your experiences solving creative challenges, and what you think is valuable. Email me at or send me a tweet: @chris_knotts. You can also follow my training firm at @ASPE_Inc – we love to hear from you.  

Further reading -  There’s a good blog post by iterative designer Matt Gartland with quick tips on executing feedback cycles:   The Art and Science of Positive Feedback Loops


More from this author: 

Leave a reply