I am loving the hypertext today ... it started with a definition of design quoted on Guy Kawasaki's blog:
Design consists of creating things for clients who may not know what they want, until they see what you've done, then they know exactly what they want, but it's not what you did.
But then following it to its source, the discussion of design opens out further.
All this goes to heart of what it means to be creative while working within a business environment. There are always going to be compromises, there are always going to be tensions ... and yet we expect that the creative process will be smooth. As we push our creative teams to come up with yet another innovation, or something that "we have never seen before", we should also be making sure that we are open to something that might surprise us.
As Seth Godin says, we may not know creativity or innovation ... but we will know success when it "smashes us in the face". Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), in the business world, creatives are not the ones who make the decisions on risk ... it is the entrepreneur who has to take on, manage and accept risk. That is their job. Sometimes they just don't see the creativity or innovation ... but it is YOUR job to communicate it to them and lead them through the signals and noise. And sometimes, just sometimes, you need to put your arse on the line. Just make sure you believe your idea because you are going to need a thick hide!