Saturday, 30 January 2010


Once upon a time in a galaxy far away....I had this weird experience about "creativity"

A senior executive heard about me and that I was supposed to be good at coming up with fresh and convincing ways of describing solutions. In this case we needed a way to show to a client how we would deal with a rather complex multi-project setup. There were multiple programs running lots of projects. Many relations and interdependencies. The mess was huge!

The exec asked me to illustrate how we could move forward while yet keeping control over the situation. He made some notes on a paper. This was supposed to be some start for me to work out details and solution from.

I took the note. Spent some time thinking. Talking. Discussing. After a few days I had a solution. I showed my work to the executive. He was not happy.

He made some new notes on a paper. Now with more details. And he was not using my work, but made it on blank paper again.

Once again I thought and discussed. Went back with a new solution to the executive after a day or two. Same procedure - a not happy executive. And now he started to question my creative ability. At least it felt like that.

And for the third time he made notes on a blank paper. Draw some charts, symbols and numbers. And patiently asked me to use all my creativity and skills to come up with a solution.

This time I took another approach. I took the last notes he made - just opened a blank presentation on my computer. Copied the hand-made notes and charts into that presentation. Added a title page. Done!

When I this time returned he was mighty impressed. He studied the electronic version of the notes he made, praised my creativity and was very happy. "I knew you could solve this problem for me!"

All I did was transforming his notes into an electronic version. I did not feel creative at all.

Nowadays I am very careful when taking on assignments like that. Trying to find out what they really want, and what level of freedom I have. Many times they are finished with the creative part and just need someone to put it on paper.

Imagine you get the instruction "Draw me somehing nice. Anything." and you come back with a horse. And gets the response "Well, I had more of a circle in mind - can you do something with a circle?".
Next time you get "Well, I had a blue circle in mind. And slightly smaller. Can you give it a go?"

And so it continues...

To all execs: If you know what you want; Say it. And If you want a person to use his/hers creativity - let them do that.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Action box

Think outside the box is something we all have heard. I guess. And possibly also that we have to think within. Or there is no box at all. Or the box is giraffe. Or whatever.

This morning I found another box. Here:

This is not about thinking. It is about action. A man and an action arrow and a box.

Does it say "run to the box" or does it say "push the box forward". There are many ways to interprete that picture. It is designed to be fast to read - so we can follow the instruction immediately.

The sign also says "if you take action and run for the box you will be ok".

So, thinking inside and outside of boxes is ok. But we also have to get into action. And if we don't we will be trapped... When you're done thinking outside the box - RUN to the box! Move the box!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Coffee break storytelling

Last week at the coffee table I took out Rory Storycubes. I did not show what it was - but I rolled all dices on the table and used my hands to hide them all. The cubes have six different smal images printed. On the nine cubes you have in total 9x6=54 small images.

I took out one dice. Pushed it towards the girl sitting closest. Looked her in her eyes and said "Once upon a time" while pointing to the image at the top of the dice.

She immediately continued on the "Once upon a time" using the small image on the dice as inspiration and trigger for the next part. She did not hesitate but just started to tell a small story. It was the beginning of a quite amazing story full of mystery and adventure.

I took out another dice and gave it to her. And another... She did not try to select another image on the cuce - but used the image on top to keep telling.

All staff round the table just sat and listened. A group of adult people listening to a made-up story inspired by nine dices with printed images. Pure magic!

There were no instructions or rules. Just the "Once upon a time" and then small images on plastic cubes for inspiration.


You can find out more about the Rory Storycubes at

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Ska du rösta på Specialmodekraterna?

När hela familjen satt och åt för länge sedan satt den mycket unga sonen och tittade förunderligt på oss. Vi diskuterade politik och ett kommande val. Efter att ha suttit tyst en lång stund och lyssnat ställde han så den fråga som var tvungen att komma ut:

"Vad är det för bra med de där specialmodekraterna?"

Ett fantastiskt ord. Och ett fantastiskt partinamn. Och en fantastisk fråga.

Fundera på den ända fram till det svenska valet. Vad är det egentligen för som är bra med de där specialmodekraterna. Och hur ska vi skapa en vettig framtid. Kan vi lita på alla specialmodekrater?
Är politiken bara fantastiska etiketter? Eller finns det substans och framtid hos specialmodekraterna?

(Och visst är det väl ett bra namn om alla partierna skulle gå ihop?)

Monday, 11 January 2010


Just had to say "Bah!". We cannot be smart and clever all the time. Sometimes I can produce nothing but a "bah". And sometimes I produce something of more value. I hope.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


It is cold outside. Real winter with snow and ice. Today it was -26C when I woke up. Went outside for a short walk and realized that the sound I made with every step was close to the squeaking sound the hero makes in the opening scene in the best PC-game ever made (so far!): Outcast. (

It's an adventure game with intelligence. And action. Groundbreaking when it was released. Breathtaking sceneries, but a bit dated graphics for closer objects critics said. Clever, non-linear, plots and....well, you get it. GREAT GAME.

Game was released 1999. The company Appeal worked on a sequel that didn't make it to the shelves. The company itself is no more. So, even if the game was groundbreaking, amazing, breathtaking, intelligent - it was not good enough. Not enough for a sequel at least.

After the short walk I had to see if it was still playable. And yes! It was.

If you haven't played it yet - do it! Give it a chance. And as a bonus you get high class game music - performed by Moscow Symphony Orchestra. You should be able to find it rather cheap...

(Warning though: since the game is old it might not work in newer windows-versions. There are discussions and hints on how to make it work...but...well...)

Here you can see the "hero" in the winter landscape. Just in the beginning of the adventure:

Did I mention it was released over ten years ago?

Saturday, 2 January 2010


First blog post 2010 will be just a moment of silence. Just stay silent for - say - 30 seconds when you read this. Be still and focus on what you hear. What you will hear? I don't know.

Start now. Shhhh....